Gibbons Tries to Earn Larger Role

By Adam Kilgore
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 9, 2007

BALTIMORE, May 8 -- After sitting for three games, Jay Gibbons returned to the Baltimore Orioles' lineup Tuesday night and busted out of a 3-for-38 slump by going 3 for 4 with a home run, his second of the season, and a double.

"I just hope it's not an audition every day," Gibbons said. "I hope I can be in there tomorrow, and if I don't get a hit tomorrow, be in there the next day."

Platooning with Kevin Millar, Gibbons has been unhappy with his irregular playing time, and his performance entering Tuesday did little to quell the frustration.

"It's not possible to get comfortable right now in that role for me," Gibbons said before the game. "I don't consider myself a part-time player. I signed a four-year deal here to be a full-time player. I refuse to make myself a part-time player" because of a slump.

"It's hard to hit if you're not in the lineup. Thirty at-bats over a three-week period is a lot of space in between at-bats. I've had 30-at-bat stretches probably 10 times in my career where people wouldn't even notice it, because it's in the middle of the year. It's called an average. You'll have your good times, you'll have your bad times. But right now it just seems like an audition. If you have a bad game, you're out. If you have a good game, you're in."

Entering the season, Gibbons expected to play every day when healthy.

"I had no clue," Gibbons said. "None. I just look at the lineup every day. It would be nice to have some notice that you're being benched."

Manager Sam Perlozzo said he may tinker with the lineup and give either Jay Payton or Aubrey Huff a day off so both Millar and Gibbons could play.

In Detroit, Perlozzo met with Millar, who expressed similar concerns about platooning. Gibbons didn't know if Perlozzo was going to have a similar conversation with him, but "if he wants to talk to me, I'll tell him how I feel."

UP NEXT Today vs. Devil Rays7:05 p.m. Bedard (3-2) vs. Shields (3-0) MASN Tomorrow vs. Devil Rays7:05 p.m. Cabrera (2-3) vs. Fossum (2-2) MASN

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