ARLINGTON -- Outfielder Corey Patterson said having the correct focus and attitude have contributed to him being a rejuvenated player a week after arriving on the scene for the Orioles, his second stint with the club. Patterson, signed as a Minor League free agent on April 21, had a home run in Tuesday's 4-3 win over Kansas City and has eight hits in his first 26 at-bats.

"You understand how things work halfway through your career," said Patterson, now 30. "It's good to come in here and start and contribute to some wins. It's going good so far, playing defense and hitting a home run. I'm just trying to prepare myself."

Patterson, the third overall pick of the Cubs in the 1998 First-Year Player Draft, hasn't lived up to expectations with a .252 career batting average with five teams. But the only thing that matters now is impressing manager Dave Trembley and his teammates with his work ethic and approach to the game.

"He came up with a big hit," Trembley said of Patterson's home run. "Corey's doing some things that maybe in retrospect, he could have been doing earlier in his career. He's become a lot more, in a short period of time, he's become more patient. He's bunting for hits. At least he's showing it. And then he's still got enough sock where he can hit one. Goodness, he's been a real nice addition for us."

Millwood returns to Texas for first time

ARLINGTON -- Kevin Millwood made his first return to Texas since being traded by the Rangers to the Orioles in December. He finds a Rangers team that is in first place in the American League West, while the Orioles started Wednesday 14 games under .500.

Millwood offered up no bitterness to the deal that sent him to Baltimore for reliever Chris Ray.

"What can you do?" Millwood said. "They made a decision, it's part of the game and you have to deal with it. I'm getting the ball every day. The Orioles are giving me a chance to compete."

Millwood is having a typical season as far as innings pitched, averaging close to seven innings per outing. Millwood's ERA is a respectable 3.65, but he has an 0-4 record through nine starts.

"He's the best 0-4 pitcher in baseball," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.

"I'm throwing the ball well," Millwood said. "I'm staying out there a while. At least I'm eating up some innings."

Millwood said he is spending his nights at his condo in Irving, Texas, while the Orioles are in Texas, but that he plans to sell it this winter. He still stays in touch with some of his former Rangers teammates, including pitchers Scott Feldman, Matt Harrison and Tommy Hunter.

Trembley being careful with Ohman

ARLINGTON -- It's hard for Orioles manager Dave Trembley not to go to left-handed reliever Will Ohman, who has 13 1/3 scoreless innings in 21 appearances.

Ohman, who leads the American League in appearances, has pitched four of the past five days entering Wednesday. Ohman had two surgeries early in his career, so Trembley said Wednesday he still needs to be careful with the left-handed specialist.

"I have to watch it," Trembley said. "I told him he's not pitching [Wednesday]. I have to fight him on it."

Trembley did point out that Ohman only threw six pitches in Tuesday's victory over Kansas City. Ohman has thrown all of 21 pitches in his last three outings.

Markakis says there's still room to improve

ARLINGTON -- Nick Markakis had the game-winning hit in Tuesday's 4-3 victory over Kansas City and he's hit safely in seven of his last eight games. He's batting .337 in his last 25 games with nine multihit games.

The sweet swing is back, but Markakis said there is still room for improvement. He has two home runs and only 13 RBIs through 40 games.

"I'm still working on things," Markakis said. I'm trying to see pitches and hit pitches."

Worth noting

David Hernandez, who will start Friday's interleague game at Washington, will leave Texas early Thursday with the Orioles and Rangers playing a night game. ... Closer Mike Gonzalez, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left shoulder, will throw an inning Thursday in Sarasota, Fla. ... Orioles pitchers Brad Bergesen and Kevin Millwood and outfielder Luke Scott will compete in the second annual "Orioles Cook-Off" on Wednesday, May 26 at the ESPN Zone in Baltimore. The event is from 11:30 a.m. ET to 1 p.m. Bergesen will be making his Simple Salmon, Millwood his Chicken Enchiladas and Scott his Surf and Turf. The Orioles are asking fans to donate either $5 or three canned goods at the door, with all donations and food going to the Maryland Food Bank. Each fan who makes a donation will receive one autographed card from either Bergesen, Millwood or Scott. For more information on the event, call 888-848-BIRD, 410-685-3776 or visit www.orioles.com.