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ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

The Touch, The Feel Of Cotton

By Jorge Arangure Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 10, 2005; Page E10

NEW YORK, April 9 -- A swipe from the right hand of the New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez on a double play attempt caused a bloody nose for Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts.

In the fifth inning of Saturday's game, Rodriguez slid hard to break up a double play attempt on a ground ball hit to third by Gary Sheffield. As he rolled on the ground, Rodriguez struck Roberts's nose. Moments later, Roberts's nose began to bleed.


Yankees' Alex Rodriguez gives Orioles' Brian Roberts a bloody nose. (Ray Stubblebine -- Reuters)

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Trainers worked on the second baseman's nose for several minutes, eventually clotting the blood with cotton. Roberts remained in the game.

"That was a new one," Roberts said of playing with the cotton in his nose.

Rodriguez approached him later to make sure he was fine. "Obviously, it wasn't intentional," Roberts said.

Mora Slow Out of the Gate

The recent resurgence by the Baltimore Orioles' offense has excluded one key member. Third baseman Melvin Mora is 1 for 21 after Saturday's game.

"Melvin is just a little anxious right now," Manager Lee Mazzilli said. "Melvin is just a professional quality hitter. He's going to hit."

Mazzilli said he doesn't think Mora is succumbing to pressure after hitting .340 with 27 home runs and 104 RBI last year. "Melvin is not like that," Mazzilli said. . . .

Chris Gomez made his first start of the year, playing first base in place of Rafael Palmeiro, who is 1 for 21 in his career against Randy Johnson. . . . Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, who is in the final year of his contract, might consider taking the same job with the Washington Nationals should the team not retain Jim Bowden. Cashman said he does not have a new contract with the Yankees.

"We'll wait and see," Cashman said.


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