BALTIMORE (AP) -Dave Trembley will return next season as manager of the Baltimore Orioles after leading the team to a winning record over the last two months.
Trembley replaced Sam Perlozzo on June 18, then was given the job through the rest of the season on July 31. The Orioles announced Wednesday that his contract has been extended through the 2008 season, with a club option for 2009.
``I'm extraordinarily confident that Dave is a good fit for this city, this franchise and these baseball fans,'' Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said.
Baltimore had lost eight consecutive games and had a 29-40 record when Perlozzo was fired. Under Trembley, the Orioles were 29-25 through Tuesday and had not lost more than three in a row.
``The way the players have responded to what we're trying to do has been real positive and real tremendous,'' Trembley said. ``I've just tried to do it right for a long time.''
The 55-year-old Trembley spent the last four of his 20 years as minor league manager in the Baltimore organization. He was hired to be the bullpen coach this season, but before Perlozzo was fired, Trembley served as bench coach on occasion while Tom Trebelhorn returned to Arizona to tend to his ailing wife.
MacPhail attempted to hire Joe Girardi as manager the same week that Perlozzo was fired. After Girardi rejected a three-year contract, MacPhail said he would suspend his search for a manager at least until July 31.
At that point, he decided to stick with Trembley ``partially based on the respect the players have given him. I wanted somebody that would have our team prepared, give a strong effort and have a high energy level. I'm pleased with all those things.''
Trembley insists that the team stretch together, with no exceptions. He has built a close rapport with the players, but makes it clear that his decisions are final.
``The players have really bought into what we're trying to do here,'' he said on July 31. ``I have a lot of respect for the game and I have a lot of respect for the people that are giving us this opportunity.''
Now, Trembley will get the chance to finish this season with an eye toward next year.

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