Montanez working hard to stay in bigs

Montanez working hard to stay

BALTIMORE -- Now that Orioles outfielder Lou Montanez has his Major League debut and first start at Camden Yards under his belt, the 26-year-old can focus on what he needs to do to keep himself in the bigs.

It shouldn't be hard if Montanez keeps swinging the bat as he has in his first two starts with Baltimore. Following his debut in Anaheim, when he went 2-for-4 with a solo homer in his first Major League at-bat, Montanez was 3-for-4 with an RBI in his first home game on Sunday afternoon against the Rangers.

"I'm just taking it all in, trying to do my best when I'm in there," Montanez said. "I know I don't have the right to complain or anything. When they put me in, I'm happy to be in there, and I'm going to do my best."

Montanez, a converted shortstop, also made two diving attempts in left field, although neither was succesful. If there is one aspect of his game that needs improvement, it's his outfield defense.

"I made the adjustment [to the outfield] in the Minor Leagues," Montanez said. "Now, when you get to the big leagues, you have to make another adjustment. Different ballparks, different players. It's all a learning process, especially for a young player."

Manager Dave Trembley added: "It's going to take him a little time to get used to all this. I asked him [on Friday] night. I said, 'Hey, what's it like catching those fly balls out there now?' He said, 'Well, it's a little bit different. The stands are a little bit higher, the lights are a little bit higher.'"

The next park Montanez will have to figure out will be Progressive Field, as the Orioles head to Cleveland for a four-game set with the Indians. This is the first time the clubs meet this season; they will also play a four-game series at Camden Yards in September.

Pitching matchup
BAL: RHP Dennis Sarfate (4-2, 4.58 ERA)
Sarfate could not complete five innings in either of his first two starts, and he'll be watched closely. If Sarfate isn't able to throw a better strike-to-ball ratio or work deeper into the game, he may head back to the bullpen.

CLE: RHP Fausto Carmona (5-4, 4.46 ERA)
Carmona has struggled to find his groove since coming back from the disabled list. His control was out of whack on Tuesday against the Rays, as he allowed four runs on three hits and five walks in four innings, striking out four. The Indians want him to more consistently find the proper release point on his pitches, particularly his once-trusty sinker. Carmona was 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA in two starts against the Orioles last year.

Bird bites
Aubrey Huff extended his hitting streak to a career-high 18 games on Sunday. He also surpassed Nick Markakis for the Orioles' longest streak of the season. ... Brian Roberts extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a 4-for-4 day on Sunday. Roberts had two doubles and leads the American League with 42 two-baggers this season. ... Melvin Mora's first-inning home run on Sunday was his 17th of the season and 150th of his career.

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• WHFS 105.7

Up next
• Tuesday: Orioles (Garrett Olson, 8-6, 6.06) at Indians (Jeremy Sowers, 1-6, 5.70), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie, 9-8, 3.26) at Indians (Anthony Reyes, 3-1, 3.86), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Orioles (Daniel Cabrera, 8-7, 4.78) at Indians (Paul Byrd, 7-10, 4.53), 7:05 p.m. ET

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