Orioles Notebook

Offense Kicks Into High Gear

By Andrew Astleford
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 11, 2008

BALTIMORE, Aug. 10 -- An abundance of recent offensive production has given Baltimore Orioles' hitters growing confidence about the team's direction before it begins a seven-game road trip with stops in Cleveland and Detroit this week.

Baltimore has had 10 or more hits in 10 of its past 13 games. In the three-game Texas series, the Orioles produced 43 hits and 25 runs.

"It lets us be relaxed and not press as much," said right fielder Nick Markakis, who went 2 for 3 with a home run on Saturday but was 0 for 5 on Sunday. "It's just one of those things where we go out there and have fun."

Cherry on Top

Rocky Cherry gained positives from his relief debut Saturday night. Cherry was promoted from Class AAA Norfolk on Friday to fill the vacant roster position left when the Tampa Bay Rays claimed pitcher Chad Bradford off waivers. In the seventh inning, Cherry took the hill in place of starter Daniel Cabrera and had one strikeout without giving up a hit. Cherry started the year on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder.

"It felt good to go out there and throw strikes," Cherry said. "I think what hurt me last year was that I walked too many guys. I really wanted to go out there and throw strikes, and I accomplished that, so I'm happy."

Said Baltimore Manager Dave Trembley, "[He had a] better breaking ball, better command than what I saw in spring practice."

Veteran infielder Juan Castro, who was acquired July 19 from the Colorado Rockies, didn't play Sunday as part of Trembley's plan to rest the 36-year-old shortstop whenever the Orioles play a day game following a night contest. Castro has a .212 batting average in 17 games with the team.

"He probably could have played if we needed him," Trembley said.

UP NEXT: Monday vs. Indians 7 p.m. Sarfate (4-2) vs. Carmona(5-4) MASN

Tuesday vs. Indians 7 p.m. Olson (8-6) vs. Sowers (1-6) MASN2

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