Right-hander Ben McDonald will make his first start of th season (weather permitting) in today's rubber game of the three-game series against the Texas Rangers.
"It's nice to have him back. Now, we'll see what he can give us, hopefully five or six innings," said Baltimore Orioles manager Frank Robinson.
McDonald, who strained an elbow muscle three weeks ago, was reactivated Friday after throwing 75 pitches in extended spring training earlier last week.
"I hope I can go to 80, maybe 90," said McDonald. "But the weather here makes it a lot tougher. I'll just try to work through it and get as loose as I can."
The possibility of a postponement led to the question of whether McDonald would start tomorrow in Chicago if today's game is washed out. Robinson said he hasn't considered that decision.
"The weather will be just as bad in Chicago," said McDonald. "Either place it'll be chilly and probably rainy, so it doesn't matter. It's just tough to pitch because your fingers get cold and it's hard to get a good grip on any pitch, but especially the breaking ball."
Milacki getting closer
A decision is drawing nearer on Bob Milacki, whose first twstarts with the Class AA Hagerstown Suns have been exceptional.
Milacki, scheduled to start today on the road against the Albany-Colonie Yankees, is 2-0 with an 0.82 ERA and has allowed only eight hits and two walks in 11 innings.
"Most likely, he'll stay with Hagerstown instead of pitch for Rochester," said general manager Roland Hemond.
"We weren't concerned with the results when he went out there," said Robinson. "He went to get work, which he is getting. We'll make a decision before he starts a fourth time."
Old-timers play today
Today's game will be preceded by the Heroes of Basebalold-timers game between former Orioles standouts and a team of the Orioles' toughest opponents over three decades.
Earl Weaver will manage the ex-Orioles, including pitcher Mike Cuellar, second baseman Davey Johnson and first baseman Boog Powell. Harmon Killebrew will manage the other team, which includes four-time batting champion Bill Madlock and three members of the 1969 Miracle Mets -- Donn Clendenon, Al Weis and Tommie Agee.
The game benefits B.A.T., the Baseball Assistance Team, which aids former players and officials in financial difficulty.
Davis slightly injured
Orioles first baseman Glenn Davis left yesterday's game aftethe sixth inning when his left hamstring tightened, but the injury is not believed serious.
"We didn't want to take any chances on that field," said Robinson.
Texas outfielder Juan Gonzalez was supposed to bactivated from the disabled list this weekend, but instead will go to an extended spring program in Port Charlotte, Fla., to play next week. He been troubled by torn cartilage in his right knee. . . . Nolan Ryan's start yesterday was the 709th of his career, tying the Rangers right-hander with Steve Carlton for fourth on the all-time list. . . . Orioles pitching coach Al Jackson missed Friday night's game after undergoing tests at Sinai Hospital, but was back in uniform yesterday. The tests were negative. . . . Yesterday marked the third straight shutout game at Memorial Stadium, the first time that has happened since Aug. 31, 1985. . . . Orioles relief pitcher Mark Williamson has allowed one earned run to Texas in his past 24 1/3 innings (0.37 ERA). He pitched two perfect innings yesterday.
Manager: Earl Weaver. Coaches: Hal Brown and Robin Roberts. Players: Paul Blair, Al Bumbry, Terry Crowley, Mike Cuellar, Doug DeCinces, Elrod Hendricks, Davey Johnson, Tippy Martinez, Scott McGregor, John Orsino, Milt Pappas, Boog Powell, Brooks Robinson, Lenn Sakata.
Manager: Harmon Killebrew. Coach: Earl Wilson. Players: Tommie Agee, Bo Belinsky, Bert Campaneris, Donn Clendenon, Bud Daley, Larry Herndon, Bill Madlock, Jim Perry, Manny Sanguillen, Leroy Stanton, Jim Sundberg, Al Weis.