BALTIMORE -- Pat Rapp handed the ball to Orioles Manager Mike Hargrove, took a few steps off the mound and pounded his fist into his glove.
"I don't know what that was," he said.
Maybe it was an accumulation of several things. There was the 34-pitch first inning. The error that brought in three unearned runs. The nine hits and 109 pitches in 52/3 innings. The four singles by Torii Hunter, who carried a .190 average into the game. Or just Rapp's season in general, which has soured since April.
Whatever the reason, he stood at his locker Wednesday pondering a 10-6 loss to the Minnesota Twins before 37,538 at Camden Yards, the Orioles' first defeat since the clubhouse purge. He replayed the mistakes in his head, found comfort in some clean innings before the game fell apart in the sixth, and speculated about his final two months in Baltimore.
Signed to a one-year contract with a vesting option for 2001, Rapp has gone 2-6 with an 8.24 ERA over his last 12 outings, including one relief appearance.
He won his first three decisions, but Rapp (6-8) has earned only three victories in his last 18 games.
Given all the adjustments made with position players since Friday, it's not a stretch to assume some changes also are forthcoming in the rotation.
Asked about the possibility of more roster shuffling before Sept. 1, Hargrove said, "I think there's a good chance of that happening."
Another day brought another new lineup, with Ivanon Coffie batting fifth and catcher Greg Myers sixth. Trenidad Hubbard made his Orioles debut after being acquired from the Atlanta Braves on Monday, starting in right field and batting seventh.
"We'll juggle it around," Hargrove said. "We've got guys who will be playing every day, but we have the periphery players who we'll move around and see what we've got. And when September gets here and we expand the rosters, we may do a little more of that.
"I don't want this to sound like it's a tryout camp because it's not by any stretch of the imagination. But there are players we need to find out about, like Ryan Minor and Ivanon Coffie and we'll go about it in that fashion. But it's not a tryout camp. We've got players that we believe in and we want to see them play and we want them to develop, and to develop they have to play."
"They may want to bring in some young arms and try them," said Rapp, who worked on seven and three days' rest his last two starts. "Jason (Johnson) is back and they may want to take another look at him. I don't know. I'll just see what happens. Whatever they want me to do is what I'll do."
For now, Hargrove has Rapp penciled in to start Tuesday in Detroit, again following Mike Mussina. If the rotation goes unchanged, Rapp will be looking for his third win since May 29, when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays managed only one run in six innings despite 11 hits.
Prone to high pitch counts and torturously long innings, Rapp ran the count full to the first batter he faced, Cristian Guzman, before walking him.
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