Uehara gets hit hard for first time with O's

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -Koji Uehara was scheduled to pitch four innings yesterday against the New York Mets, and - if all went well - he was going to work a little extra in the bullpen afterward.

All did not go well, and he lasted just two innings in the Orioles' 9-8 loss at Tradition Field.


Uehara struggled with control, ran into what he thought was a rough home plate umpire (Scott Barry) and suffered the first disappointing performance of his young Orioles career.

"I wouldn't call it a disappointment," he said through his interpreter, Jiwon Bang, "but the strike zone was tough. It's just spring training, so I was not concerned about the results."


Manager Dave Trembley didn't seem terribly concerned either, but he wasn't going to leave Uehara out there to get knocked around. He quickly got up reliever Scott Chiasson and sent him in for the third.

Uehara "got his pitches up, but he keeps attacking the hitters," Trembley said. "There were a couple of pitches that could have gone either way, but he kept attacking the strike zone, and that's what you like."

The Orioles took an 8-4 lead into the eighth inning, but reliever Alberto Castillo gave up a game-tying grand slam to pinch hitter Nick Evans in the eighth and a walkoff homer to catcher Rene Rivera in the ninth. The Orioles lost the game in frustrating fashion, but Uehara did not lose his sense of humor.

Asked why he lasted two innings, he didn't sugarcoat a thing: "You can call it a knockout."

More rest for Parrish

Left-hander John Parrish, already ruled out of the rotation competition by Trembley, has been shut down to rest the inflammation in his throwing shoulder. Parrish felt tightness and soreness when he was throwing from 120 feet last week.

"I'm trying to knock it out before it gets out of hand," said Parrish, who was signed to a minor league deal in February after pitching last season for the Toronto Blue Jays organization. "It's frustrating, but it's still in me to pitch. As long as I get healthy at some point, to be able to pitch this year would be good. It's frustrating for me to come in here and be sore, but there's still plenty of time to get things healthy and get on a roll."

Parrish's contract says he can opt out of his pact with the Orioles if he's not on the major league roster by April 3, three days before Opening Day. Trembley has ruled out Parrish's making the club, meaning the 31-year-old will have a decision to make soon.


"That's so far beyond me, it's not even considered right now," Parrish said. "I have to get healthy first. ... I don't want to sit and rehab. I just want to pitch."

Bass gets a shot

Brian Bass will start today against the Boston Red Sox, a sign that the Orioles have changed their mind and are considering him for one of three open spots in the rotation.

Trembley said last week that Bass is being looked at for the long-relief role, but the rash of injuries suffered by potential rotation members and Radhames Liz's struggles in his one Grapefruit League start could alter the team's plans for Bass.

"He's going to get a chance" to start, Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz said when asked about the role Bass is auditioning for. "We need to get him some innings and stretch him out a little bit."

Around the horn


Melvin Mora is 4-for-9 with a home run and five RBIs in his first two games with the Venezuelan national team in the World Baseball Classic. ... Trembley spent time on the field before yesterday's game with Miami Dolphins executive vice president Bill Parcells and coach Tony Sparano, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch.