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Julio Is Thriving In New Role

By Jorge Arangure Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 24, 2005; Page E08

TORONTO, April 23 -- Moving out of the closer role has not affected Jorge Julio one bit. The reliever continued his quick start this year by pitching a scoreless inning in the Baltimore Orioles' 4-1 win against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Julio relieved starter Erik Bedard in the eighth inning of a 1-0 game. The Orioles scored three runs in the ninth to put the game away.

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"I'm ready for whatever situation they put me in," Julio said. "You just want to help the team right now. For me right now I don't care about the situation or the inning I come in."

Julio has yielded just one run in 962/37 innings (0.93 ERA). He has been used in a variety of roles and doesn't seem bothered when he comes in.

"It seems like his slider is working well," Baltimore Manager Lee Mazzilli said. "He's ahead in the count. He's throwing the ball very well."

Roberts Back on Power Trip

Second baseman Brian Roberts ended his mini-slump -- he had been hitless in 11 at-bats -- with two hits, including his seventh home run.

"I'm not trying to figure out his power," Mazzilli said.

Roberts said he was not worried about his slump. "I've never seen anybody hit .450," he said.

Roberts's power surge has turned him into a celebrity. He is approached almost daily for interviews and last week he appeared on ESPN2's "Cold Pizza."

"It was a wild two weeks," Roberts said. "But I'd rather do well and have the attention." . . .

B.J. Surhoff had his first start of the year at first base. Mazzilli said he isn't sure whether Surhoff will get more starts there.

Join Jorge Arangure Jr. for an online chat about the Orioles Tuesday at 1 p.m.

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