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04/23/09 12:20 AM ET

Trembley taking pressure off Eaton

Baltimore (7-8) vs. Chicago (8-6), 7:05 p.m. ET

It's not life or death. Orioles manager Dave Trembley said Wednesday night he doesn't want to heap pressure on Adam Eaton every time he pitches, meaning the veteran's results in Thursday's series finale against the White Sox should not be interpreted as a vote of confidence or a deal-breaker of any kind.

"I don't think every time that Adam Eaton pitches, it's a critical situation or a crucial situation," said Trembley, who has chosen not to endorse Eaton after each of his last two starts. "I think with hitters, you give them at-bats. ... Adam Eaton has pitched for a long time. I don't think the notion ought to be that every time he pitches out there, 'If he pitches good, he's on the team. If he doesn't pitch good, he's going to get replaced.'

"I don't think that's real fair. If he pitches great [on Thursday], everybody's going to jump on the bandwagon and say, 'Hey, what a great pitcher he is.' And if he doesn't pitch well, people are going to say, 'Well, is that the last time you're going to start him?' Let's see how he does and evaluate from there."

Trembley saw a lot of Eaton in Spring Training, but he still elected not to name the right-hander to the rotation until the last possible moment. And after Eaton went four innings and rang up high pitch counts in his first two starts, Trembley was noncommittal about his role going forward. Now, however, his intentions are clear.

The Orioles, for one, clearly don't have a lot of options. Alfredo Simon, who broke camp in the rotation, announced Wednesday that he will need season-ending surgery on his pitching elbow. Baltimore dipped down to Triple-A Norfolk to replace him and may not be eager to repeat the process with Eaton.

Trembley, however, preferred to concentrate on his team as opposed to his starting pitcher.

"I think it's important that as a team we have an opportunity to win a series against the White Sox, who came in here [after playing] very well against Tampa," he said. "We lost [Wednesday]. We didn't play well enough to win. They pitched better, they caught it better, they got timely hitting, and we didn't. [Thursday] is a new day, and we have to pitch better than they do. We have to catch it better. We have to hit better.

"And I don't think it's solely Adam Eaton. I think it's the team. I think it's this group. Certain guys on one particular day are better than others. That doesn't mean you cast them aside in a corner and just say, 'Hey, we've got to change this thing and do something different.' What we have is what we have."

Pitching matchup
BAL: RHP Adam Eaton (0-2, 11.25 ERA)
Eaton has pitched just four innings in each of his first two starts, and it's taken him 193 total pitches to get that far. The veteran allowed six earned runs against the Red Sox in his last start, and he will need to pitch better to preserve his spot in the rotation. Eaton, who was released by the Phillies early in Spring Training, was signed by the Orioles in order to take some heat off the team's pitching prospects.

CWS: RHP Bartolo Colon (1-0, 3.86 ERA)
Colon started great but tired and had a little bit of a shaky finish during his second start of the season on Friday night against the Rays at Tropicana Field. Colon allowed five runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings, walking one and fanning four, but he did not factor in the decision. In his last inning, when his pitch count worked its way up to the final total of 92, Colon yielded two hits and a walk before giving way to reliever Matt Thornton with the bases loaded.

Bird bites
The Orioles are 0-5 this season when they score three runs or fewer and 7-3 when they score four runs or more. ... Right fielder Nick Markakis has hit safely in nine straight games and is batting .417 (15-of-36) over that span. ... The Orioles are 3-1 in series and 0-4 in series finales this season. They'll need to upend that latter trend Thursday to improve upon the first one. ... Baltimore lost last year's series against Chicago, taking four of nine games.

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Up next
• Friday: Orioles (Koji Uehara, 2-1, 5.29) vs. Rangers (Vicente Padilla, 1-1, 9.64), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Orioles (Mark Hendrickson, 1-2, 3.86) vs. Rangers (Scott Feldman, 0-0, 12.15), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Orioles (Brad Bergesen, 1-0, 1.59) vs. Rangers (TBD), 1:35 p.m. ET

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.