Notes: O's add four players to roster

Notes: O's add four players to roster

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Orioles added four players to the expanded September roster on Tuesday: infielder Luis Hernandez, catcher Gustavo Molina, utility player Brandon Fahey and right-hander Fernando Cabrera.

Manager Dave Trembley said Hernandez will "get an opportunity to start somewhat" at shortstop during the final weeks of the season. Hernandez, highly regarded for his defense, batted .242 in 92 games at Double-A Bowie.

"If you're going to build this [team] around pitching and defense you need guys in the middle of the diamond that can catch the ball, and he showed that when he was here before," Trembley said.

Cabrera rejoins the Orioles after a three-game stint at Triple-A Norfolk. Signed by the Orioles on Aug. 21 after being released by the Indians, he allowed five runs in one-third of an inning against the Devil Rays on Aug. 28.

Molina, who is not related to the three other Molinas in baseball and who began the season as the White Sox backup catcher, will be making his Orioles debut. Fahey will reassume the utility role he played for the Orioles between June 27 and Aug. 20.

Right-hander Rob Bell cleared waivers Tuesday and could rejoin the Orioles as early as Wednesday.

"He can pitch in a variety of roles and right now that's what we need," Trembley said.

Bedard's MRI: The Orioles received some good news on Eric Bedard on Tuesday. An MRI confirmed that the left-hander has a strained right oblique muscle, but no further injury.

"We wanted to rule out anything else with the MRI," Trembley said.

Bedard will rejoin the team in Baltimore on Thursday.

Here's the question: The Aug. 21-30 home stretch in which the Orioles lost nine games straight was just the second time in history the club had done so at Camden Yards in team history. Can you remember the other time this happened?

Changing times: The Orioles rotation looks a lot different than it was shaping up out of Spring Training this season, and while there are a number of things to blame for Baltimore's recent funk, pitching has been a big part.

Most recently, Baltimore has had to do without the services of Bedard, who's out currently with a strained oblique muscle. Longer-suffering problems include that of Jaret Wright, whose sore shoulder has kept him from a starting role since the first month of the year and Adam Loewen, who had surgery to fix a fractured left elbow.

Kris Benson, too, underwent surgery in Spring Training to repair his throwing shoulder. This and more were reasons why guys such as Triple-A's Kurt Birkins made appearances on the mound for starting duties the O's hadn't expected.

Trembley said there's no use dwelling on what could or should have been.

"Injuries are part of the game," Trembley said. "I'd have loved to have had them, but injuries are a part of the game."

Down on the farm: Triple-A Norfolk took a 2-2 tie into the eighth inning on Monday but the Tides were doomed by an RBI single and dropped their season finale, 3-2. Norfolk finished the season at 69-74. ... Double-A Bowie scored one run in the bottom of the ninth but lost 5-2 to visiting Connecticut during its regular season finale. ... The Class A Ironbirds lost 10-3 during their last game after Hudson Valley scored five runs in the third and fourth innings. It was Aberdeen's first loss this month. ... Right-hander Jason Berken tossed seven shutout innings during Class A Frederick's 2-0 victory over Winston-Salem to close out the regular season.

And the answer is: The O's also dropped nine straight at Camden Yards from Sept. 18-29, 2002, marking the only other time in Baltimore's history they've dropped nine straight during one homestand.

Up next: Baltimore concludes its three-game series against the Rays on Wednesday evening. The O's will send right-hander Radhames Liz (0-1, 7.00 ERA)to the mound, where he'll face off against fellow righty Andy Sonnanstine (4-9, 5.88). First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Pete Williams is a contributor to Dawn Klemish is an associate reporter for and contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.