04/24/07 2:44 PM ET
Notes: Mora tried to catch A's off guard
Patterson also surprised in the ninth inning Monday night
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
"Men on first and third. I bunt the ball. That was my decision," Mora said before he was asked a question. "The guy didn't score because he was surprised. That's it. It wasn't a great play. It was nothing. And it was my decision."
Actually, the runner didn't score because the bunt was fielded by Oakland closer Huston Street, who prudently checked home before throwing Mora out at first. That was the second out of the inning, and after an intentional walk, four-time All-Star Miguel Tejada grounded out to strand the runner and end the game.
When asked to explain the reasoning behind the bunt, Mora bristled and issued a terse comment.
"Because that's the way I play baseball," he said. "I play to win. I play to surprise the other team. That's why I've been in the playoffs before, because I like to do the little things. It didn't work out."
Corey Patterson, who had been on third when Mora bunted, said he probably would've scored if the ball had gotten past the pitcher. Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo agreed with that sentiment, but he admitted Tuesday that he had hoped Mora would swing away in that situation. The final say, however, belonged to the man in the batter's box.
"Sometimes hitters will go up to the plate, and if they're not comfortable swinging the bat on somebody, they might do something different," Perlozzo explained. "I kind of was hoping for a sac fly [or] actually a base hit. But if he gets a good bunt down, we get the bases loaded and maybe Corey reads it and scores.
"It's like I said after the game: If he's going to go down the third-base line and if he gets a good bunt down, even at that point if Corey doesn't score on that, the bases are loaded. The execution just wasn't good."
One point was cleared up, however. Mora may not have gotten a sign to bunt, but he said he sent a sign of his own to third base clarifying his intentions. Mora said he thought Patterson got it, but admitted that it didn't seem that way after the game. And finally, when asked again, he explained his strategic choice in plain detail.
"I was just thinking in my mind [that Street] just wants to pitch me difficult and get a ground ball for a double play," Mora said. "The first thing I tried to do was tie the game. I didn't try to be greedy and to win the game."
Making a move: Reliever Scott Williamson left Monday night's game with tightness in his right triceps muscle and was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. Baltimore called up right-hander Jim Johnson from Triple-A Norfolk to take his spot, but Williamson said he should be ready to go within the next few days.
When asked if he expected to be back as soon as he's eligible, Williamson said, "Absolutely."
"In my mind, I could probably go out there and pitch, but obviously, if you come out of a game, they look at it a little bit different," he said. "They have to have someone up here who can pitch tonight and tomorrow and the next day. If I have to take two days off, I guess, right now I can't do that.
"You've got to take a step back and not be selfish and do what you have to do for the team. ...I'll stay sharp and be ready when I come back from the DL."
Perlozzo said the DL move wasn't just about the current injury -- it was about getting Williamson back to peak physical condition. The right-hander spent 50 days on the disabled list last season and has had elbow troubles throughout his career, but Perlozzo and the Orioles want to make sure he's around to pitch late into the season.
"I think when we left Spring Training we thought he was like just a hair behind, [and] we've been fortunate to be able to take care of him," he said. "We can't put ourselves in a position today to blow the whole [bullpen] out, so we needed some help, and we need to get Scott good enough so he can go out there and pitch a little more often than he has.
"He gets people out, but you've got to have someone you can rely on a little more, so hopefully this will give him a little time to be able to come back and do that for us."
Replacements: Johnson had been scheduled to start for Norfolk Tuesday, but the O's decided he'd fit better as a piggy-back guy in case starter Jeremy Guthrie couldn't get deep in the game.
"We need somebody in there that can pitch a little bit," Perlozzo. "It's his turn up. There were a few choices, but he was the logical one and he can give us a lot of innings if we need it."
Long man Brian Burres threw multiple innings Monday night and will likely need at least two days off before he can pitch again. Perlozzo said that played into his decision and was a big factor in why Baltimore didn't bring up a veteran reliever like Todd Williams from Norfolk.
"He just pitched," Perlozzo said. "I think he's more of a one-inning guy. We need somebody that can go if Jeremy struggles at all, if we're in a situation where we need some innings."
Makeup date: Baltimore's rainout game from April 15 has been rescheduled for Monday, Sept. 24 at 7:05 p.m ET. Fans holding tickets for the postponed game can use them for admission in September.
Quotable: "We've had a lot of things go our way in the first part here, and last night we had a lot of good things go our way again. The team came back, just the one [thing] we needed didn't happen." -- Perlozzo, officially putting Monday night's loss to rest
Coming up: The Orioles will play host to Curt Schilling and the Boston Red Sox Wednesday, and Baltimore's Daniel Cabrera will take the ball in the opener of the two-game series.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.