Orioles' Patton Bitten By Injury Bug Again

BALTIMORE—Troy Patton could use a fresh start. Then again, he'd settle for a succession of starts that aren't interrupted by an injury.

Patton went on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder after blanking Gwinnett over three innings in his 2011 debut with Triple-A Norfolk. He was injured while lunging for a ball on a bunt play and exited the game after facing one batter in the fourth.

Mark Hendrickson allowed the inherited runner to score, so Patton was charged with one run and struck out four. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound lefthander threw 38 pitches, including 28 for strikes. The last thing Patton needs is another shoulder injury, though this one wasn't deemed serious.

A ninth-round pick by the Astros in 2004, Patton missed the entire 2008 season after having surgery to repair a torn labrum. The injury didn't allow him to take the mound in his first year with the organization after coming in the trade that sent Miguel Tejada to the Astros for Patton, righthanders Matt Albers and Dennis Sarfate, outfielder Luke Scott and infielder Mike Costanzo. Only Patton and Scott, last year's Most Valuable Oriole, remain in the organization.

It's been a rocky year for Patton, who was arrested in Houston in January and charged with a DWI. He caught a break when he didn't have to leave the team in spring training to attend a court hearing.

Patton appeared in only two Grapefruit League games, throwing two scoreless innings and picking up a save against the Pirates. The Orioles optioned him to Norfolk, where he went 8-11, 4.43 in 25 starts last summer and led the Tides with 136 innings.

In his last three starts, Patton allowed only four runs and struck out 15 over 19 innings.

The Orioles recalled Patton three times last season, but he made only one relief appearance. They summoned him this year before the injury, but only as insurance in case Jeremy Guthrie couldn't make a start after being hospitalized with pneumonia. Guthrie was fine, and Patton returned to the Tides.

Bird Seed

• The Orioles placed Double-A Bowie first baseman Joe Mahoney on the disabled list with a quadriceps injury. Mahoney was the Orioles' minor league player of the year in 2010. He had gone 1-for-7 with a double in Bowie's first two games.

• Bowie center fielder Xavier Avery, 21, was flashing his speed early in the season. Avery led the Eastern League with seven steals in his first eight attempts. No one else in the league had more than four.