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Notes: Tejada in 1,118th straight game

Notes: Tejada in 1,118th straight game

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BOSTON -- Miguel Tejada is still streaking, and every day he moves farther and farther into rarified territory.

Tejada passed Hall of Famer Billy Williams on Sunday by playing in his 1,118th consecutive game, a streak that ranks fifth all-time. Only Steve Garvey (1,207 games), Everett Scott (1,307), Lou Gehrig (2,130) and Cal Ripken Jr. (2,632) have had longer streaks, and Tejada will likely reel in Garvey by the end of the year.

"It's amazing. I'm really happy and I'm really impressed," Tejada said on Saturday, speaking of the players he's passed and the players still in front of him. "It's hard, but I really thank God for the opportunity to pass those guys."

Tejada, who will turn 31 in less than two weeks, has played in every game since June 2000. The four-time All-Star and former Most Valuable Player said that he's intensified his workout regimen to make sure he's ready to play on an everyday basis as he gets older. So far there hasn't been much dropoff in his play.

"I've been working harder than I used to," he said of his conditioning routine. "I do a lot of running, and that's why my body never gets tired when I get to 100 games. That's why, when I get to 100 games, I feel much better."

Manager Sam Perlozzo, who makes out the lineup every day, has said that having Tejada makes things easier on him. Every day he knows that his metronome of a shortstop will be playing the field and batting in a power slot. Tejada makes everyone around him better, and rarely even takes a day as the designated hitter.

"He's a tough son of a gun," said Perlozzo. "To me, that streak -- it's amazing that guys can do what they do. You look at it and say there's got to be a tremendous amount of luck involved. But at the same time, you [think] it's got to be a little more than luck. The mental toughness is a big part. If Miggy gets hit by a pitch, he just goes down to first.

"I have never seen him -- knock on wood -- go down. It's amazing."

At least one aspect of Tejada's game is beginning to change. The infielder has said on several occasions that he'll likely be more of an average hitter than a power hitter as his career progresses, and he hit .350 in the second half last season. He's batting .331 so far this year, but only eight of his first 49 hits have gone for extra bases.

"You expect him to drive the ball in the gaps at least," Perlozzo said of Tejada's flagging power. "But if they're pitching him certain ways, he tries to take advantage of it. He uses what they're doing to him. It's a little difficult when you see him on the side. They're either throwing him hard or staying away."

Shot in the arm: The Orioles activated veteran reliever Scott Williamson from the disabled list on Sunday and slotted Jon Leicester on the DL in his place. Leicester injured his shoulder late in Saturday's game and will return to Baltimore to be examined by the team's physicians. He'll likely need to undergo an MRI.

Williamson, who had been out with soreness in his right triceps tendon, said that he felt a little anxious to be back.

"It feels like the first day or something," Williamson said after weeks of inactivity. "I'm a little nervous, but I'm excited to get back out there and play. It was just an unfortunate way to come back from the DL -- a guy gets hurt. I feel bad for him, and you hope the best for him. Hopefully, it's nothing major."

Williamson has had two ligament-replacement surgeries on his pitching elbow, and he had another operation last November to clean out some bone chips and a bone spur in the elbow. The right-hander said that he never really felt bad enough to go on the disabled list, but he understood why the Orioles wanted to make sure he was healthy.

"It still gets sore and stuff, but it's not really the elbow. It's more muscular," he said. "Now I just have to build back my arm strength. It's hard to do at the big-league level. I am in a tough spot, but you have to go out there and do the best you possibly can for the next month or so, just try to get back in the rhythm.

"It's kind of a setback, but I think I am mentally tough enough to overcome it and keep going."

Hot corner: Melvin Mora got a day off on Sunday, mainly the result of a hard-hit ball to him at third base late in Saturday's game. Mora had some X-rays taken -- which came back negative -- and sat down with a bruised palm on Sunday. However, he said he was nearly certain he'd be able to play on Monday.

"It would bother me a little bit, because it's a little bit swollen," Mora said of playing on Sunday. "Last night it was more. Today it's better. I slept with a wrap, but I took it off at 4 a.m. because it was bothering me."

In Mora's absence, first baseman Aubrey Huff moved across the diamond to assume his old position. Huff has rarely taken ground balls at third this season, but he didn't think it would be much of a problem.

"I have played there a lot in my career, so hopefully, it comes back," Huff said. "You're going to get balls hit hard by lefties at first, and you're going to get balls hit hard by righties at third. The only difference is the throw. You've got to catch it, and you've got to make a good throw."

"That's where he played quite a bit last year," added Perlozzo. "We got him work in Spring Training. He played. I don't expect him to be a whiz kid, but I'd like to have his bat in there with all the rest of the bats."

Quotable: "I don't think I can hit a 99-mph fastball inside today. I can hit a knuckleball." -- Mora, on how his hand would affect him at the plate

Coming up: The Orioles play the opener of a three-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Monday at 7:07 p.m. ET. Erik Bedard will start the first game for Baltimore, and he'll be matched against Toronto's Tomo Ohka.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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