O's Baez takes over as closer while Ray does DL stint

Updated: August 3, 2007, 6:50 PM ET
Associated Press

Danys Baez


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Danys Baez is taking over as the Baltimore Orioles' closer while Chris Ray is on the disabled list.

Baez had 71 saves with Tampa Bay during the 2004-05 seasons.

"He's closed games before," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said before Friday night's game against the Devil Rays. "He's got the most experience."

The move allows Jamie Walker and Chad Bradford to return to situational roles in the seventh and eighth inning.

Ray was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow strain on July 25. Ray, is 5-6 with 16 saves, hasn't been cleared to resume throwing.

Baltimore recalled left-hander Kurt Birkins from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned reliever Cory Doyne to the International League club. Trembley said Birkins will pitch in relief.

Third baseman Melvin Mora, sidelined since July 13 by a sprained foot, went 2-for-4 with a double in a minor league rehab game with the Gulf Coast League Orioles. He is scheduled to play with GCL team again Saturday and could rejoin the Orioles on Sunday.

"He did very well," Trembley said. "He reported no discomfort, no pain."

Outfielder Freddie Bynum, out with a strained left hamstring, was set to play this weekend with Class-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press