An optimist would look at Orioles left-hander Brian Burres yesterday as a starter who held the Detroit Tigers to one run through five innings. Ignored would be the 108 pitches he threw and the inevitable call to the bullpen that came in the sixth.
Magglio Ordonez also homered off Burres, who retired 14 of 18 batters before Thames wrapped a ball around the left-field foul pole.
"For the most part, I didn't really have any fastball command at all," Burres said. "At the end, I threw a lot of pitches, and they got to see a lot of pitches, and that hurt me in the sixth inning."
Burres retired the first two batters in each of the first five innings and induced a ground ball from Miguel Cabrera before Thames' homer.
"I don't know if it's concentration," manager Dave Trembley said. "He just had trouble getting the third out. He had to work way too hard for it."
Adam Jones was scratched from the lineup with a swollen right ankle, an injury he suffered while stepping on first base during Saturday night's game. He limped to the trainer's room with the ankle wrapped in ice after the game and declined to speak with reporters as he passed them in the hallway.
Also, reliever Greg Aquino will undergo a magnetic resonance imaging on his left hamstring after going on the disabled list Saturday, and he will report to the minor league complex in Sarasota, Fla. And left-hander Jamie Walker will pitch a simulated game at 3 p.m. tomorrow before the Orioles decide whether to activate him.
Reliever Dennis Sarfate has allowed eight earned runs in eight innings this month, including three in Saturday night's game. He didn't retire any of the three batters he faced and made an errant pickoff throw to second base, which Trembley attributed to a loss of self-control.
"Sarfate's been rather inconsistent of late," Trembley said. "What he does is he probably doesn't stay with one thing long enough, and that's what he needs to do. We told him that in spring training: 'You need to trust yourself. It's not a tryout. Quit trying to figure out what's wrong. Just go at them.' But, you know, he's no different than anybody else. They all go through slumps.
"I'm more concerned about the mound presence, poise, those kinds of things. To me, [Saturday] night, he looked rattled. That's something he needs to outgrow.
"He threw that ball into center field last night. That's the kind of thing you'd expect to happen in A-ball. You don't do that in the big leagues. He's throwing over to first base, and I don't know why. It's like his fingers are in the socket. We've got to take his fingers out of the socket."
Sarfate said he isn't trying too hard.
"I don't think I'm putting any extra pressure on myself," he said. "I know I've got good stuff. I trust my stuff. It's just about getting back in the groove and going from there."
Sarfate is out of minor league options, so he would have to pass through waivers before being sent to Triple-A.
"We're not going to be able to find his kind of arm on a street corner," Trembley said. "We've got to be patient with him."