<
>

Ponson, 1-12, has groin injury

BALTIMORE -- Nothing has gone right this season for Baltimore Orioles pitcher Sidney Ponson,
who missed the chance to end his nine-game losing streak
against woeful Kansas City because of a groin injury.

Ponson (3-12) was scheduled to start Saturday against the
Royals, who own the worst record in the American League. Scratched
in favor of Daniel Cabrera, Ponson won't pitch again until after
the All-Star break.

"I knew he was sore his last start. I just thought the timing
was right to give him those extra days off," manager Lee Mazzilli
said Saturday.

Ponson was signed as a free agent in January and assigned the
role as ace of the staff, but he's gone 1-12 since April 20, leads
the majors in losses and owns an unsightly 6.29 ERA.

He hasn't pitched since July 4, and Mazzilli hopes the extended
break will prove beneficial to the right-hander.

"For me, it's kind of like getting a clear head at the
beginning of the second half and not worry about something that
could be nagging," Mazzilli said. "Sometimes rest is the best
medicine."