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O's roster could see changes soon

O's roster could see changes soon

ARLINGTON -- Baltimore's roster structure is expected to change Wednesday, when Melvin Mora will likely go to the disabled list and be replaced by reliever Matt Albers. That will give the Orioles an eight-man bullpen and a three-man bench, with Ty Wigginton moving into the lineup to replace Mora for the foreseeable future.

Mora, who has been hampered by a tight left hamstring off and on since Spring Training, last played on Sunday and won't be eligible to return until April 28. By extension, that means that Wigginton and fellow reserve Ryan Freel should get more playing time, shuffling around to keep everyone fresh.

Manager Dave Trembley didn't confirm the Mora move, but he said it would be hard to keep the current roster.

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"I don't think it's fair to Melvin and I don't think it's fair to the team if it's going to be a situation where he's going to be out three days and then he can play one day," said Trembley. "At this early point in time ... I don't think that's the direction that either of us want to go."

The roster situation was further complicated by Tuesday's events, specifically an injury to starter Alfredo Simon. Simon recorded just four outs, which forced the Orioles to get 8 2/3 innings of relief from their bullpen.

Four relievers -- Dennis Sarfate, Chris Ray, Jamie Walker and Jim Johnson -- pitched more than an inning on Tuesday, and closer George Sherrill threw a stressful inning for the second straight day. Danys Baez and Brian Bass -- who threw 65 pitches on Sunday -- were the only relievers who didn't pitch in a 7-5 win over Texas.

Simon will head back to Baltimore Wednesday for further testing on his injured right elbow. There's a chance that the Orioles will also place him on the disabled list, which would enable them to recall another pitcher and lessen the strain on their staff. Radhames Liz, in that case, would loom as a potential favorite.

Trembley, true to form, wouldn't divulge his plans after the game.

"We'll have to consider that," he said of the prospect of additional roster moves. "I'll have to talk to Andy [MacPhail, Baltimore's president of baseball operations.] I just got done talking to [pitching coach Rick Kranitz.] We'll probably have something one way or the other in the morning."

Pitching matchup
BAL: LHP Mark Hendrickson (1-0, 1.69 ERA)
Hendrickson's debut as an Orioles pitcher on April 10 wasn't flashy, just effective. He held the Rays in check, allowing only one run on six hits and two walks over 5 1/3 innings and remained unbeaten in April since his last setback on April 27, 2006, while with the Rays. It'll be Hendrickson's first start at The Ballpark at Arlington, and he's got a lifetime 1-2 record with a 9.42 ERA in five games, including three starts, against the Rangers.

TEX: RHP Kris Benson (0-1, 12.60 ERA)
Benson made his first start against the Tigers on Friday and allowed eight runs on 10 hits and two walks in five innings. The Rangers lost, 15-2. It was his first Major League appearance since Sept. 27, 2006. He will be making his first career appearance against the Orioles. Benson pitched for the Orioles in 2006 and went 11-12 with a 4.82 ERA. He also made his only start at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Aug. 30 of that year.

Bird bites
The Orioles have won their first three series of the season, a feat they hadn't achieved since 1998. For contrast, Baltimore won three straight series on just one occasion last season. ... Baltimore's top two starters (Jeremy Guthrie and Koji Uehara) have both won their first two starts of the season. The last time that happened was 1994, when Mike Mussina and Ben McDonald managed to do it. ... The Orioles got 7 2/3 scoreless innings from their bullpen Tuesday night before Sherrill gave up two runs in the 10th. ... Baltimore is 1-0 in extra-inning games.

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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• MASN 2

On radio
• 105.7 The Fan

Up next
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie, 2-0, 2.25) at Red Sox (Brad Penny, 1-0, 4.50), 7:10 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Orioles (Adam Eaton, 0-1, 9.00) at Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 1-1, 3.46), 7:10 p.m. ET

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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