BOSTON -- Orioles outfielder Corey Patterson knows the pending return of Felix Pie will likely mean the end of his duties as the everyday left fielder, but he said he's pulling for Pie to come back and help jolt a beleaguered squad.
"I hope Felix comes back and hits. 300," Patterson said. "I'm rooting for him. Just because he does well doesn't mean I can't as well."
Interim manager Juan Samuel said Saturday that Patterson will likely see some time at designated hitter, especially with Luke Scott on the 15-day disabled list. Pie is expected to be activated for Tuesday's game in Detroit, so the O's could frequently use a lineup with both Pie and Patterson.
"We are going to continue to get at-bats for Corey," Samuel said. "He has helped us tremendously. We want to keep him fresh, give him some time, and [he will play the field] if we feel like Felix might need a day off."
The 30-year-old Patterson entered Sunday having hit safely in eight straight games, and is batting .368 with 11 multihit contests in his past 20.
Patterson signed a Minor League deal with the Orioles on April 21 and was thought to be just outfield insurance until struggling Nolan Reimold was sent to Triple-A and Pie hit the disabled list. Baltimore selected his contract on May 12, and Patterson has exceeded offensive expectations in the leadoff spot.
"He was sitting at home without a job [this spring]," Samuel said of Patterson, who was cut by Seattle. "And when we needed some help, he came in and really lifted our offense. And he is getting on base and stealing some bases for us. So I'm very happy for him."