- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 10, 2002

BALTIMORE The Baltimore Orioles will have to wait another day before attempting to break out of their offensive funk.
Rain showers forced the postponement of last night's game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Camden Yards. The game will be made up Aug.22 at 7:05 p.m., originally an off-day for both teams.
Jason Johnson, scheduled to start last night's game for the Orioles, was pushed back to pitch tonight, as was Devil Rays right-hander Paul Wilson.
"That's the way it goes. You can't control the weather," said Johnson, who allowed one run in 7⅔ innings in his first appearance of the year but still took the loss against the Yankees. "I was ready to go, but we'll put it off for one more day and be excited for tomorrow."
The Orioles were hoping a three-game series with the 3-3 Devil Rays would help spark some life into their sleeping bats. Through the first six games of the season, Baltimore (1-5) has a .167 average and has scored 14 runs.
Fans who held tickets to last night's game are urged to use them for the Aug.22 makeup game, though the Orioles will allow exchanges for the following dates (subject to availability): June2 vs. Seattle, June10 vs. San Diego, Aug.6 vs. Minnesota, Sept.4 vs. Texas and Sept.19 vs. Toronto.

Cordova on track
Left fielder Marty Cordova, out since Opening Day with a strained right quadriceps, said he expects to be ready to come off the 15-day disabled list when he becomes eligible Friday.
Cordova, the Orioles' major offseason signing, was going to test his legs by running the bases yesterday, but the rain forced him inside to work on a treadmill. He reported no problems.
"Obviously we still want to give it a full test before we commit to him coming off," manager Mike Hargrove said. "But I don't see anything right now that would keep him from coming off."
Utility man Melvin Mora has played well in Cordova's absence, starting every game in left field and driving in four runs. Mora's early season performance could warrant more than an occasional start in place of Cordova.
"That's one of those things I don't want to commit to," Hargrove said. "It's honestly something I've thought a lot about the last 3-to-4 days. But when Marty comes off, Marty will play."

Extra bases
Lost among the hubbub over the Orioles' hitting woes and strong starting pitching has been the performance of the bullpen, which has allowed just two runs in 16⅓ innings for the season (no runs in the last 14⅓ innings). Baltimore relievers have stranded all eight inherited runners this year.
Aside from one start behind the plate by backup catcher Brook Fordyce, the Orioles have fielded the same starting nine in every game this year. Hargrove said that could change tonight with left-hander Joe Kennedy pitching for Tampa Bay. Outfielder Gary Matthews Jr., a switch-hitter, could get his first start since joining the Orioles last week.


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