Notes: Orioles shake up lineup

Notes: Orioles shake up lineup

DETROIT -- If necessity is indeed the mother of invention, consider the Orioles lineup on Wednesday as manager Sam Perlozzo's attempt to be an inventor.

Perlozzo shuffled around the middle of the lineup against the Tigers at Comerica Park, in an attempt to jump-start an offense that has struggled in the O's recent skid of eight losses in nine games. They have averaged just 3.3 runs over that span, and their only win came in a protested game on Saturday against the Indians.

Nick Markakis was moved to the No. 7 spot in the order, after he started 26 of 27 games in the No. 3 spot to begin the season. Jay Payton started for the first time in the No. 2 spot, as Melvin Mora, the usual starter there, slid down to the No. 5 spot. Miguel Tejada took over Markakis's slot, and Ramon Hernandez got his first start of the season as the cleanup hitter.

"We just have a lot of guys that aren't doing [what they're] capable of doing," Perlozzo said. "At a certain point in time, you've got to say, 'It's just not working right now, let's see if we can't move some things around,' and get back to what we thought was originally going to be a good lineup."

Most teams do shuffle their lineups slightly on a day game after a night game, but Wednesday's lineup was a drastic change for the Orioles. Brian Roberts was the only regular in his usual spot, the leadoff spot.

Perlozzo said Wednesday's changes also stemmed from the matchup with Tigers lefty Nate Robertson, who pitched 7 1/3 shutout innings against the Orioles on April 10.

"Some of our righties haven't been hitting left-handed pitching, and we try to do the best we can to see if we can't change the look a little bit," Perlozzo said. "At least, for a day."

Loewen's reaction: Adam Loewen didn't speak to the media after Tuesday night's game, but took questions on Wednesday about the pain in his left arm.

He left after five innings and just 85 pitches, after a strange injury cropped up that had bothered him in his last three starts.

"The first two innings were the best I've felt all year," Loewen said. "And it kind of gradually got worse, and I think it did affect the way I pitched from the third through the fifth inning."

The injury isn't considered serious, but no one seems to know the exact diagnosis. Loewen described it as a "weird feeling" that hurts when he throws his curveball, and it affects the velocity of his fastball.

"His pain is actually moving around; sometimes it's down in his forearm, sometimes it's up in his bicep," Perlozzo said. "It's been moving in all different places, but never really in a spot where it's a concern that it might be a [serious] injury. I think that's a good thing."

For now, Loewen will simply rest the arm, and said he isn't quite sure if he will miss his next start.

"It's something I can pitch through, I think," Loewen said. "It's just a question of pitching through it or making sure that I'm 100 percent."

Quick hits: If Loewen does have to miss a start, Perlozzo said Jeremy Guthrie and Brian Burres would be his likely replacements. ... Minor League pitcher Hayden Penn will undergo surgery Wednesday to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. He is expected to return in 10 to 12 weeks.

Running wild: Roberts stole three bases on Tuesday, which raised his season total to 11. Surprisingly, it wasn't a career high in a game. He stole four bases on May 4, 2004, against the White Sox.

He has been thrown out just once this year, although his speed wasn't enough to beat out a grounder in the seven inning on Tuesday. He was thrown out at home, which would have given the Orioles a 4-3 lead. He argued briefly with home-plate umpire Laz Diaz, but said he agreed with the call after he watched the replay.

Request denied: Major League Baseball officially announced Wednesday that a formal protest the Indians filed during the Orioles 7-4 win on Saturday had been denied.

Indians manager Eric Wedge put the game into protest when the Orioles were awarded a run three innings after it had been taken away.

Up next: The Orioles are off Thursday, then travel back home on Friday to begin the first game of a four-game series with the Indians. Erik Bedard (3-2, 6.09) will start against Paul Byrd (2-1, 3.50) at 7:05 p.m. ET at Camden Yards.

Tim Kirby is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.