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04/29/08 9:04 PM ET

Trembley mum on Wednesday starter

Johnson, Albers in the discussion, but neither confirmed

BALTIMORE -- Orioles manager Dave Trembley hedged on his promise to name Wednesday's starting pitcher Tuesday afternoon, instead offering two potential scenarios for the assignment.

Either right-hander Jim Johnson, Trembley's original choice, who pitched two innings in Monday's 3-3 suspended game in Chicago, or right-hander Matt Albers will work the middle game of a three-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays.

"I originally said yesterday that it was going to be Johnson," Trembley said. "Now I'm saying Albers or Johnson, because we're doing what we've got to do to win the game tonight."

Johnson has excelled out of the bullpen in long relief this season, pitching 13 scoreless innings in six outings and recording his first Major League save. Opposing batters are 6-for-45 (.133) against him, with right-handers only 2-for-20.

Albers is 2-0 with a 1.65 ERA in nine games, and won his only start of the year when he allowed one run in five innings against Toronto on April 14.

Despite working Monday, Johnson remained in the mix, Trembley said. If Johnson does start, however, he might not be able to work too deep into the game.

"If I need to use Johnson tonight, Albers would start tomorrow," the manager said. "If I need to use Albers tonight, the other guy would start."

Either option is fine with Trembley, who said he would announce his choice after Tuesday's game -- even though what happens against the Rays might prematurely tip his hand.

"I think both of them have earned the opportunity," he said. "Albers did it once. Obviously, what Johnson's done has been tremendous. But I really don't have any preference."

Pete Kerzel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.