Williamson targets Sunday for his return from DL
Baltimore Orioles right-hander Mark Williamson threw for the second time yesterday and said he will be ready to return to active duty when the roster limit rises to 40 players Sunday.
Williamson, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 14 with a strained muscle in his left side, threw for 20 minutes before last night's game and reported no serious discomfort.
"It's still there a little bit," Williamson said, "but it doesn't bother me when I pitch. I threw 20 minutes all-out, and it didn't bother me."
The veteran reliever is hoping to make the most of the final five weeks of the season. He is 3-5 with a 4.46 ERA in 53 appearances this year, a performance that pales next to his previous two seasons.
"This year hasn't been the most consistent year I've had," Williamson said. "I threw well at times, and I threw bad at times. I never really got into a groove for an extended period.
"I just hope the last month that I throw the ball the way I'm capable of throwing it."
Williamson said he probably could come off the disabled list sooner but has geared his throwing schedule toward Sunday.
"I threw two days ago [Monday] and threw today, and I'll probably throw again on Friday," he said. "That takes me right into Sunday. We planned it that way."
Bill Ripken to have surgery
Second baseman Bill Ripken will have surgery in October to remove a bone chip from his heel. The procedure will be performed by Orioles orthopedist Dr. Charles Silberstein.
Ripken has struggled at the plate this season, thanks in part to a series of injuries. He was in and out of the lineup with back soreness in June and recently spent a month on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his rib cage.
Jeff Robinson sent home
Right-hander Jeff Robinson returned to Baltimore to have his injured groin muscle evaluated by club physicians this week and has been sent home to San Diego for the remainder of the season.
Robinson had been optioned to the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings, but the groin strain he suffered before the All-Star break apparently will require an extended rest to heal properly.
The Orioles had not said whether Robinson would be recalled when the rosters expand, but it seemed unlikely. He had alienated fans and front-office personnel with his angry reaction to being optioned to the minor leagues.
Milacki on schedule
Right-hander Bob Milacki, who had gone home early on Monday and Tuesday with inflamed tonsils, threw on the side yesterday and will make his scheduled start tomorrow night against the Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome.
The Orioles surpassed their 1983 and 1984 attendance marks last night and have the third-highest attendance total in club history with 16 home dates to go. The club is on course to set an attendance record in its final season at Memorial Stadium. . . . Joe Orsulak entered last night's game with a .400 average this year against knuckleball pitchers and promptly singled off Tom Candiotti in his first at-bat.