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Orioles Notebook

Julio Is Getting Ready to Return

By Jorge Arangure Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 16, 2005; Page D05

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., March 15 -- Baltimore Orioles reliever Jorge Julio threw an 11-minute live batting practice session and will make his spring debut Saturday or Sunday. Julio has not pitched in an exhibition game this spring because of a strained right forearm.

Julio threw a bullpen session last Saturday, the first time he had thrown off a mound since the first couple of days of spring training. Julio threw another bullpen session Sunday and has reported no pain. He will pitch a simulated game Thursday.

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At this point, Julio is not under medical limitations and his appearance in a game will come at the discretion of the coaching staff. Pitching coach Ray Miller said he has scheduled Julio to pitch Saturday against the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla.

But Miller said he might reconsider and make Julio's first appearance on Sunday against the New York Mets in Fort Lauderdale.

Mora Is Feeling Down

Melvin Mora, who has been weakened by flu-like symptoms for the past two weeks, again was scratched from the lineup. Mora has been in and out of the lineup the past week because of the illness. He was removed from Sunday's game and did not play Monday.

"Sometimes I feel I can't catch my breath, like asthma," Mora said. "I don't want to make excuses, but when I'm sick, I'm sick."

Jay Gibbons also has contracted the virus and has missed the past two games.

Thinking on Your Feet

Starter Rodrigo Lopez yielded four runs, three earned, in the Orioles' 5-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday. Lopez allowed all four runs in the first two innings he pitched. He finished with three scoreless innings.

"I thought Rodrigo changed his game plan after the first inning," Orioles Manager Lee Mazzilli said. "He didn't have his best stuff. That showed me he knows how to pitch."

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