Gomez sent to Rochester, as McKnight is called upANAHEIM...

Orioles notes

May 07, 1991|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Sun Staff Correspondent

ANAHEIM, CALF. — Gomez sent to Rochester, as McKnight is called up

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Baltimore Orioles optioned third baseman Leo Gomez to the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings late last night and recalled utility player Jeff McKnight.

Gomez, whose outstanding offensive performance in spring training forced the club to keep him through the final spring cut, ++ batted .222 in 16 regular-season games and had not driven in a run. He was hitless in his past nine at- bats.

McKnight was batting .385 in 21 games with the Red Wings, with one home run and 17 RBI. Manager Frank Robinson saw him when the Orioles played an exhibition game at Rochester last week and was impressed with the way he was swinging the bat.

The Orioles have been looking for someone to provide some spark in their struggling offensive lineup. Gomez could not, so McKnight now will get a chance to contribute.

Davis gets another exam

First baseman Glenn Davis spent most of yesterday at the Kerlan/Jobe Clinic in Inglewood, Calif., undergoing another extensive examination on his injured neck.

Davis was examined by back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins and at least one other specialist at one of the nation's foremost

sports medicine facilities, but results of the tests have not been made available.

This is the fourth stop on Davis' medical tour. He has been examined at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Cornell University Hospital of Special Surgery and the Cleveland Clinic. In each case, the injury was diagnosed as a damaged spinal accessory nerve, but the original medical opinion called for surgery and several later ones did not.

Davis has indicated that he has decided against surgery, and it appears that nothing was learned yesterday that will change his mind.

Bill Ripken out of lineup

Second baseman Bill Ripken was held out of the lineup last night after suffering a jammed ring finger on his right hand in Sunday's game at Anaheim Stadium.

Trainer Richie Bancells said yesterday that Ripken had shown marked improvement after only 24 hours, but Robinson wrote Tim Hulett into the lineup at second base to give Ripken more time to mend.

Milligan still puzzled by slump

First baseman Randy Milligan drove home a run with a single in his first at-bat in the cleanup spot Sunday, but he says the jury is still out on whether hitting deeper in the order will help him out of a prolonged hitting slump.

"I still have a ways to go," said Milligan, who came into last night's game hitting just .183. "I'm confident that I will come out of it, but it's not any fun when I'm swinging like this."

Robinson hoped that moving Milligan into a run-production spot would get him back into a good frame of mind. Milligan batted fourth Sunday and was in the No. 5 slot last night.

"If I knew exactly what was wrong, I'd straighten it out," he said. "To simplify it, he's not doing the things he has to do to hit. He's pulling off the ball -- not keeping his head on it."

If things don't improve soon, Milligan might be in for a few days off.

"I hadn't thought about that yet," Robinson said, "but it's something you might have to consider if this continues."

Jeff Robinson in bullpen

Right-hander Jeff Robinson has been in the bullpen the past couple of games, and was available for relief because he lasted less than one inning in his start Saturday night.

Frank Robinson said that sending the veteran starter to the bullpen was an obvious move, since he did not get much work in his fourth start of the season. But he admitted that if the pitcher were to be forced into a long relief stint, it could alter the rotation.

The manager has been coy about his pitching plans lately, which might be an indication that some changes are imminent.

"I don't want to say anything prematurely," he said, "because I don't want to have to flip-flop on anything later if I change my mind."


The Orioles have gone 24 innings since surrendering their last base on balls. Bob Milacki was the last Baltimore pitcher to hand one out, walking Luis Polonia in the first inning of Saturday's game. . . . The Orioles are 4-6 since Davis went on the disabled list. . . . Gregg Olson has held opposing hitters to a .203 batting average during his 2-plus seasons in the major leagues. . . . Milligan has 173 walks in 255 games with the Orioles.

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