Erik Bedard, who was second in the American League in ERA at the time he was placed on the disabled list on May 26 with a sprained left knee, will pitch a rehabilitation start on Tuesday for the Delmarva Shorebirds and is tentatively set to make his return to the Baltimore rotation on July 18 against the Minnesota Twins.

Bedard was scheduled to pitch his second game in the minors on Monday, but the team moved the start to Tuesday so Bedard was on pace to pitch on July 18. The left-hander allowed two runs in two innings and struck out four in his first outing on Wednesday.

"It's a world of difference between now and when I was hurt," Bedard said. "I threw more in the bullpen than I threw in the game [Wednesday] and my knee didn't hurt. So I do feel confident."

Bedard was 5-1 with a 2.08 ERA at the time of his injury. Baltimore is just 17-25 in Bedard's absence.

"The first two weeks, the knee got better," he said. "It feels very good. It's just a long process. At least now I know when I am coming back. Two weeks ago, I didn't even know when I was coming back. It feels good to be back on track."

The Orioles have penciled in Daniel Cabrera to pitch Thursday's game in Seattle. Rodrigo Lopez follows on Friday and Bruce Chen on Saturday. Sidney Ponson will pitch the series finale on Sunday.

J. Lopez Not Ready Yet

Injured catcher Javy Lopez, whom the Orioles hoped would return shortly after the all-star break, likely won't be activated until the home series against the Texas Rangers starting July 25. Manager Lee Mazzilli said Lopez was being ruled out for the team's 10-game road trip that starts on Thursday. . . .

The four-game series against the Boston Red Sox set a franchise record for attendance. The 195,722 fans surpassed the mark of 192,494 set July 9-12, 1998, against Boston. . . .

Shortstop Miguel Tejada said he had no objections to Boston slugger David Ortiz to represent the Dominican Republic in Monday's home run hitting contest. Tejada was last year's Home Run Derby winner.

"I think Ortiz is the guy to represent our country," Tejada said.

Tejada said he is eager to experience his first all-star game as a starter.

"I'm going to enjoy every moment and walk around like a little kid trying to touch everything," he said. . . .

Closer B.J. Ryan said he will savor playing in his first all-star game, especially since he and teammate Brian Roberts played with the Orioles during Baltimore's lean years.

"We were here when we weren't very good," Ryan said. "And he was battling for his job and I wasn't pitching a whole lot out of the bullpen, and so you finally get a shot to show people what you are capable of doing. It will be fun to be going there with him."