By Andrew Astleford
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 30, 2008
Pitcher Brian Burres sauntered into the visitor's clubhouse before yesterday's game at Nationals Park and declared that he would be ready to make a risk-free start when the Baltimore Orioles host the Kansas City Royals tonight to start a seven-game homestand.
The 6-foot-1 left-hander (6-5) suffered from a stomach virus over the weekend but gave his arm a light workout yesterday to test his stamina.
He said his strength had returned and that he would be available to pitch. In his previous start, Thursday against the Chicago Cubs, Burres surrendered three hits and a run in one inning during Baltimore's 11-4 triumph.
"It's nothing serious at all," Burres said of his ailment.
"I wasn't happy that it happened, but everything is fine now and I just need to get back to work."
Baltimore is eager for that as well. The Orioles have found success during Burres's appearances of late, winning five of their last six games when Burres takes the mound, dating from a 10-9 victory against the New York Yankees on May 27. During the stretch, however, Burres has yielded 28 earned runs in just 24 2/3 innings, sending his ERA soaring from 3.16 to 5.29.
"I have to trust that what he tells me is the truth," Manager Dave Trembley said. "He seems to be better. He was cleared by the doctors, so that seems to be a good sign."Loewen Still Struggling
Adam Loewen (elbow) remains a topic of concern for Trembley. On June 10, the left-handed pitcher with a 7.85 ERA was sent to the minor leagues for rehabilitation. On Saturday night, he pitched for Class AA Bowie, where he allowed a solo home run and two hits in two-thirds of an inning.
"When talked to him [Sunday] morning," Trembley said, "I told him . . . I do not want him coming back here and having a bad outing and telling me that the reason he had a bad outing was because his arm wasn't 100 percent." . . .
The Orioles finished interleague play with an 11-7 mark, their first winning record against National League teams since 1999. Baltimore is 90-121 overall since interleague play began in 1997.