ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Baltimore Orioles right-hander Bob Milacki, who suffered a bruised knuckle on his right hand in Saturday's no-hitter, apparently will make his next start on time.
Milacki threw on the side without apparent problem yesterday at Anaheim Stadium and should start on schedule Thursday against the Kansas City Royals at Royals Stadium.
"It looks a whole lot better," trainer Jamie Reed said.
Milacki was hit on the hand by a shot off the bat of Oakland Athletics outfielder Willie Wilson. He stayed in the game to pitch to two more batters, but had to leave the no-hitter after his right index finger began to swell between innings.
He claimed at the time that he could have continued, but admitted that he was having trouble gripping the ball. Milacki apparently had no such problem yesterday.
Second baseman Bill Ripken was scratched from the lineup right before game time, apparently because of stiffness in his lower back.
There were conflicting reports on the seriousness of the back problem, which has cropped up on several occasions this year. Manager John Oates said it was "just a lineup change," but he doesn't often alter his lineup minutes before the first pitch.
Angels activate Bailes
The Angels removed left-handed reliever Scott Bailes from the disabled list and optioned reliever Cliff Young to the Class AAA Edmonton Trappers. Bailes has been on the disabled list since July 3 with a sprained right foot.
First baseman Glenn Davis visited back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins at the Kerlin-Jobe Clinic yesterday for the second time in two weeks and underwent another EMG (electro-mylogram).
It was the latest in a long series of neurological examinations. The EMG is a painful, but necessary procedure to test nerve function.
Davis said that Watkins was satisfied with the progress he has made in his recovery from a damaged spinal accessory nerve and the resultant atrophication of the trapezius (shoulder) muscle. He will also see Angels orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum while the Orioles are in Southern California.
The veteran first baseman continued his daily workouts, which include batting practice as well as light fielding and throwing drills.
McDonald getting stronger
Pitcher Ben McDonald said yesterday that he still does not have 100 percent of his arm strength back after two stays on the disabled list with a sore elbow, but indicated that he finally is getting close.
"I think as far as velocity, I'm getting there," he said. "As far as being 100 percent in shape, I'm maybe a couple of starts away."
McDonald has made three major-league starts since he came back from his second stay on the disabled list. He has been overpowering in two of them. His last time out, he struck out a season-high eight batters in an eight-inning performance against the Oakland A's on Friday night.
"The last start, I really felt strong," he said. "I have no complaints at all."
Gregg Olson arrived in Anaheim with his season-high consecutive games streak at four. Though it was nothing to match Cal Ripken, four straight appearances by Olson is enough to raise some eyebrows. But he said that he would be available if needed last night.
Ripken to be honored
The Orioles will honor Cal Ripken Friday night on the occasion of his 1,500th consecutive game and for his MVP performance in the All-Star Game. Saturday, the club will honor Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson and Olson for their no-hit performance against the A's.
Orioles starters entered last night's game with a string of three games in which they had worked through the sixth inning. Only once previously have they done that in four straight games. . . . The Orioles have not had a complete game from the rotation since McDonald pitched one on May 17 against the Angels.