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05/24/09 2:30 PM ET

Orioles give day off to tired relievers

Sherrill, Johnson, Bass unavailable for Sunday's game

WASHINGTON -- One good series deserves one day off. Orioles manager Dave Trembley found himself handcuffed with some weary relievers on Sunday, a direct result of a heavy workload for his bullpen. Trembley gave days off to George Sherrill, Jim Johnson and Brian Bass in Sunday's series finale.

And with good reason. Baltimore's bullpen has pitched 15 2/3 innings over its past three games and has allowed just one run. Johnson and Bass both worked multiple-inning stints in Saturday's 2-1 victory over Washington, and Sherrill worked the ninth inning in three consecutive games to get his day of rest.

"There are guys that are down. I think we have enough guys that if [Brad] Bergesen pitches a good game, we can cover," said Trembley. "I wouldn't go to Sherrill; that would be four days in a row. I wouldn't go to Johnson. Bass, obviously, is down again after pitching three innings. But I think everybody else is available."

Trembley wouldn't say who he expected to close on Sunday, but the obvious guess would be either Chris Ray or Danys Baez. Sherrill has proven to be truly indispensable after a tough start, notching five straight saves and five straight outings without allowing a hit to re-establish himself as the team's closer.

"I think he's better. His delivery is better. His velocity is consistent," said Trembley of his closer. "His location in the strike zone and around the plate has just had more life. I see him as he was very early last year. I think he's been helped tremendously by making adjustments to his delivery."

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