DETROIT -- Glenn Davis returned to the Baltimore Orioles' lineup last night after missing five games because of back spasms.
"He came in and said he wanted to try it," said manager John Oates. "He's fine so he's in there."
Davis was hitting .321 in his past nine games before leaving the Sept. 20 game in Cleveland with mid-back pain.
Oates was reserving judgment on whether Davis would return to the batting order today.
"We'll wait to decide on tomorrow's first baseman, depending on how healthy Glenn is," he said.
Gullickson goes for 20th
Bill Gullickson will be shooting for his 20th victory of the season today against the Orioles.
If he makes it, Gullickson will be only the third pitcher to win 20 under manager Sparky Anderson. The others were Jim Merritt (1970) with Cincinnati and Jack Morris (1983 and 1986) with Detroit.
"He'll get every chance to win," said Anderson. "Nobody will mess with him."
No friction here
Anderson said he has no quarrel with the selection of ex-Orioles pitcher Jerry Walker as the Detroit general manager.
"I like him because he's a gentleman," said Anderson. "I have no problem getting along with nice people. He has a great personality and he knows this game."
Walker, 52, still holds the Orioles record for most innings pitched in a single game -- 16 against the Chicago White Sox on Sept. 11, 1959. That was his best season (11-10 with a 2.92 ERA).
He has been the Tigers' special assignment scout for nearly six years and has scouted, managed in the minor leagues and been a major-league pitching coach.
Bo Schembechler had to persuade Walker to move from his Ada, Okla., home where he has lived all his life.
"There were mornings I'd wake up and say no way," said Walker. "Then one day I couldn't think of any reason I shouldn't."
Walker is one of many GMs with an Orioles background. The others are Roland Hemond, Frank Cashen (Mets outgoing), Al Harazin (Mets incoming), Harry Dalton (Brewers), Lou Gorman (Red Sox), John Schuerholz (Braves), Herk Robinson (Royals), Hank Peters (Indians outgoing), John Hart (Indians incoming), Jim Frey (Cubs), Joe McIlvaine (Padres) and Pat Gillick (Blue Jays).
Outfielder Rob Deer was scratched from the Tigers lineup at the last minute when his wife, Jennifer, gave birth to twin girls yesterday. They were named Ellery and Karly.
But press-box wags, mindful of Deer's all-or-nothing reputation at the plate (24 homers, 173 strikeouts this year) couldn't resist.
Some name suggestions: Swing and Miss. Kay Swinging and Kay Called. Strike Out and Home Run.
The Orioles have won 7 games when trailing after 8 innings, thanks to Thursday's 6-5 nightcap victory over Boston. Only the White Sox have more (8). . . . This is fan appreciation weekend for the Tigers. Among the prizes are a Chevrolet Lumina and an IBM laptop computer. . . . Mickey Tettleton leads all major-league catchers in home runs (28 before last night) and RBI (81).