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Up next: Orioles

By MARC TOPKIN
Published September 16, 2005


WHAT'S NEW: After a promising start that saw them in first place for 62 days, the Orioles have had a miserable second half, though they had won four straight before losing in extra innings Wednesday. Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro are out of the lineup with injuries. Interim manager Sam Perlozzo doesn't know if he'll keep his job. Jorge Julio has struggled in the bullpen. The offense has gone cold, with the O's scoring four runs or fewer in 19 of their past 32 games, and the starting pitching has been bad.

INJURIES: Sosa and Palmeiro say they will be back this season, though it won't be this weekend. Shortstop Miguel Tejada was tired enough to ask for a day at DH.

STREAKS: The Orioles went 18 games without a win from their starters, from July 16-Aug. 3. ... The Orioles have had losing streaks of at least eight games in eight straight seasons. ... The Orioles have gone consecutive games without homers eight times.

WHO'S HOT: Melvin Mora has hit in 17 of his past 22 games. ... Jay Gibbons has hit in 13 of his past 17.

WHO'S NOT: Eric Byrnes is 1-for-25 over his past nine games. ... Tejada was 1-for-5 Wednesday after going hitless in three straight games for the first time this season.

SERIES: The Orioles lead 8-4, including 6-0 at Camden Yards. Overall, the Orioles lead 65-60 and 36-26 at home.

KEEP IN MIND: The Orioles are 18-20 since Perlozzo replaced Lee Mazzilli as manger; they were 51-56 before the move.

THEY SAID IT: "I'm not going to die if I don't get the job, but I'm going to come away from this thing knowing that I can manage this team." - Perlozzo on his chance to keep the job