Ortiz Gets Another Starting Nod

By Adam Kilgore
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 7, 2006

BALTIMORE, Aug. 6 -- Injuries and inconsistency have thrown off the Baltimore Orioles' pitching rotation to the point where Manager Sam Perlozzo has to tinker with it almost daily. He badly wants to stabilize the starters, beginning with the series starting Monday in Toronto against the Blue Jays.

Russ Ortiz will start Monday, Perlozzo said, and Daniel Cabrera could be recalled from Class AAA Ottawa before the series ends. Perlozzo decided on Ortiz because of positive reports from pitching coach Leo Mazzone about Ortiz's side sessions.

Though it remains uncertain when and if Cabrera will rejoin Baltimore, Perlozzo made it clear Sunday he feels Cabrera belongs in the majors.

"Daniel is probably pretty close to being up here," Perlozzo said. "I think he needs to get back here. It's possible he will start in Toronto. We need to get our rotation back in order, and I think he's part of the rotation. If he's going to be part of our future, he needs to get back up here, start pitching for us and start straightening it out up here. It's time for us to get this thing rolling and get him moving on."

Cabrera, who at times this season seemed poised for a breakout year, was sent down after he started throwing too many balls and too many hittable pitches, the control problems that have been his bugaboo his whole career. The Orioles sent Cabrera to Ottawa on July 15 with a 4-7 record and a 5.25 ERA.

Cabrera's immediate future is clouded, but Ortiz knows he'll get the ball Monday night. Ortiz and Mazzone discovered a flaw in Ortiz's motion while watching slow-motion film of the pitcher. Mazzone noticed that Ortiz was not pausing ever so slightly between bringing the ball out of his glove and starting his throwing motion, something he likes to do. The hiccup is something only someone like Mazzone -- someone with a keen eye who is familiar with Ortiz -- would have caught, Ortiz said.

Widger Gets First Start

Chris Widger, a nine-year veteran who attended George Mason, made his first start with the Orioles, something he said gave him an extra boost of excitement. Widger, who batted .182 this season with the Chicago White Sox, went 0 for 2 with a walk in his Orioles debut. . . . Orioles pitcher Winston Abreu made his major league debut, coming on with one out in the ninth to face Alex Rodriguez. He struck him out looking at a slider, then retired Nick Green to close out the inning.

UP NEXT Today at Blue Jays 1:07 p.m. Ortiz (0-2, 11.57) vs. Lilly (9-10, 4.20) No TV, WTEM-980 Tomorrow at Blue Jays 7:07 p.m. TBA vs. Marcum (1-1, 5.33) Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980

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