Steve Kline's season-long problems have caused Orioles Manager Lee Mazzilli to alter his bullpen alignment. Twenty minutes before Friday's game, Mazzilli informed Kline that Tim Byrdak will be the primary left-hander out of the bullpen.

Mazzilli "can use [Byrdak] all he wants," Kline said. "Good luck to the kid. I hope he throws well. That's what the kid's here to do. I haven't done the job, but it's kind of a kick to the groin, but you have to go out there and pitch. I have a problem, but I have to take it."

Kline, the Orioles' most significant free agent signing this past offseason, has a 5.57 ERA in 42 games and left-handers are hitting .333 against him. Byrdak was promoted from Class AAA Ottawa on July 2 and has a 4.15 ERA in four games.

Kline said he understood the move but was not so happy about when he was told.

"It's nice to know [so late] you are going to get demoted or, he didn't want me to use that word, adjustment, that's what you call it," Kline said sarcastically. "I don't believe [in adjustments]. As a reliever you don't have time to work things out. I have always been put in a situation where games are on the line or not on the line, you just have to go when they tell you to go. When they tell me to pitch, I'll pitch."

Palmeiro Is at 2,997

Rafael Palmeiro's two singles put him three hits shy of 3,000. He has one home game before the team heads for a three-city trip after the all-star break.

"I would love to do [it Sunday] just for the sake of the fans being at home," Palmeiro said. . . .

Catcher Eli Whiteside, called up a week ago to replace Geronimo Gil, made his first major league start Saturday. Whiteside said his wife, mother, father and cousin were at the game.

Whiteside got his first career hit and RBI in the eighth.