- The Washington Times - Friday, June 4, 2004

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles added a fresh arm to their weary bullpen yesterday, recalling right-hander Rick Bauer from Class AAA Ottawa and designating pitcher Darwin Cubillan for assignment.

Bauer was optioned to Ottawa on May25 after going 1-0 with a 6.20 ERA with the Orioles. In his only appearance with the Lynx, he pitched five scoreless innings in a start against Columbus on Monday.

“I’d have rather of been up here, but it was good to go down and throw some scoreless innings, get some work in,” Bauer said.

Asked what he learned in his return to the minors, he said, “It reminded me how much I like to be in the big leagues.”

Cubillan went 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA with Baltimore. The right-hander allowed runs in five of his seven appearances. The Orioles have 10 days to trade, release or ask waivers on Cubillan.

Bauer attributed his shoddy ERA to one poor performance May11 in Chicago, when he yielded seven runs in one-third of an inning.

“I think that’s the only bad outing I had,” he said, adding that he was “shocked” upon learning of his demotion.

Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli was hopeful that the addition of Bauer would provide some relief to an overworked bullpen.

“I just think Bauer can give me more innings right now than Cuby,” Mazzilli said. “I’ll use him the way I have in the past.”

Bauer pitched in long relief while with Baltimore earlier this season. Mazzilli hoped the trip to the minors left Bauer in the right frame of mind.

“Sometimes it just wakes you up a little bit,” Mazzilli said.

Start me up

When Rodrigo Lopez takes the mound against Tampa Bay for his fourth start of the season today, he will strive to build upon the improvement he showed in his last outing in Boston.

Lopez beat the Red Sox on Monday, allowing one run in 51/3 innings. It was his first win as a starter in 2004, and the first time the right-hander made it out of the fifth inning.

“It was progress,” he said.

If there was one flaw in his performance, it was that Lopez needed 109 pitches to get 16 outs.

“That’s too many. It’s something I think about, but when I’m in the game I’m just trying to get people out,” he said.

Lopez began the season in the bullpen, where he pitched brilliantly. He prefers starting, however, and insists that each outing should not be considered to be an audition.

“I’m not trying to prove anything,” Lopez said. “I’ve already done that throughout my career.”

Bautista’s back

Jose Bautista returned to Camden Yards, this time as a member of the opposition.

Bautista was claimed by Tampa Bay after the Orioles waived the Rule 5 utility player May 25. He stayed in Baltimore awaiting his fate, and was fortunate enough to join his new team at the ballpark.

Being in the visiting dugout, watching his former team across the diamond, provoked mixed emotions.

“It feels a little weird, but it feels nice to be somewhere,” he said. “It’s nice to have a place to go.”

Bautista, who hit .273 in 16 games with Baltimore, must stay on the Devil Rays’ major league roster or be offered back to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“Our scouts like him a little bit,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. “He’s an athletic kid who can play some infield and play some outfield.”

Segui checks in

David Segui returned to the Orioles, but it will be at least another month before the designated hitter leaves the 15-day disabled list.

Segui underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee May 11. He was told he would be sidelined at least eight weeks after the procedure, in which doctors repaired a stress fracture, removed loose cartilage and drilled small holes in the knee to increase blood flow.

“They said it was worse than they thought,” Segui said. “It was a worst-case scenario.”

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