BRADENTON, FLA. — Devereaux runs his way into a slight groin injury
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Center fielder Mike Devereaux beat out a bunt for a hit in the Orioles' 13-inning, 3-2 exhibition loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday, but it probably wasn't worth his trouble.
Devereaux suffered a slight groin strain sprinting down the line and had to be removed from the game. His status is day-to-day, but it seems likely the club will treat the injury conservatively at this point in the exhibition season.
"It's not too bad," Devereaux said, "but it was just so cold out there. It might be something very minor, but I can still feel it."
If it seems as if an Oriole drops every time the temperature does, it probably is no coincidence. Ben McDonald injured his elbow throwing on a cold, rainy day last spring, and Devereaux said that a couple of his earlier leg injuries occurred under chilly conditions.
"Every time I've been hurt, it has been because of cold weather," Devereaux said. "I pulled a hamstring in '90 in Detroit on a day bTC that was unusually cold, and I had a slight groin pull last year when it was cold. That's why I like to play when it's 110 degrees."
Bell doesn't ring true
Infielder Juan Bell struggled with a couple of ground balls yesterday, which probably didn't improve his chances of winning one of the two infield utility jobs open this spring.
Bell is in competition with Tim Hulett and Mark McLemore. Manager John Oates has said that only two of the three will make the club.
McLemore could not handle a tough hop on the pivotal play in the 13th inning, but Oates did not seem particularly bothered by it. He did say, however, that Bell should have made the two plays.
Mesa makes it tough
Right-hander Jose Mesa pitched three scoreless innings, giving up two hits and making it difficult to overlook him.
Mesa has not been scored upon in five innings. He has given up four hits and one walk.
He is out of minor-league options, so he must make the club or be made available on waivers to the other 25 major-league teams. The club probably will try to trade him if he isn't going to make the Opening Day roster.
Poole to throw today
Left-hander Jim Poole, who has been suffering from some shoulder tendinitis, will throw batting practice today. If all goes well, he could pitch in Sunday's exhibition game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
"I'm not worried," Poole said. "I'm just anxious. Two weeks on the shelf stinks."
Kirk Gibson, who was traded to the Pirates for pitcher Neal Heaton, joined the club yesterday and wasted no time fitting into the lineup.
Gibson started in right field and reached base in his first two at-bats. He walked, facing Mike Mussina in the first inning, and lined an opposite-field double off Mesa in the fourth.
Pirates in pain
Pirates left fielder Barry Bonds did not play against the Orioles yesterday. He's been out five games with a slight hamstring strain. Center fielder Andy Van Slyke also has been out with a sore lower back. Tests performed Tuesday revealed three degenerative disks.
Tickets left for homestand
The Orioles report that about 15,000-20,000 tickets remain for the six home games that follow the club's sold-out season opener at the new Camden Yards ballpark. The club plays just seven home games in April, three against the Cleveland Indians to open the season and four against the Detroit Tigers, April 17-20.
First cut is not the deepest
The Orioles announced their first cuts of spring, and there were no surprises. Three non-roster players -- catcher Mike Lehman, outfielder Mark Smith and pitcher Amalio Carreno -- were sent to Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota for minor-league camp.
Under the lights
The Orioles play host to the Texas Rangers tonight at Al Lang Stadium. It will be the first night exhibition game there since the St. Louis Cardinals played host to the New York Mets on April 1, 1986.
Rick Sutcliffe and Storm Davis will make their second appearance each of the exhibition season. Mark Williamson and Jim Lewis also are scheduled to pitch.
The Rangers will send right-hander Kevin Brown to the mound, )) followed by Terry Mathews and Kenny Rogers.
The game will be the first of three spring telecasts on WMAR-TV
Mercedes for the defense
Second baseman Bell was the Orioles' most-used (and most-traveled) player a year ago, but he's running second this year to outfielder Luis Mercedes.
Mercedes has spent 41 innings in left field in the club's first seven exhibition games. That's quite a bit of playing time, considering the number of outfielders with a chance to make the club.
Hetzel's double play
Right-hander Eric Hetzel pitched three innings in a "B" game yesterday, just hours after his wife, Katherine, gave birth to twin girls in Crowley, La.
Hetzel could be forgiven if he didn't have his mind entirely on his work, but he still pitched reasonably well in a 5-2 victory over the Cardinals at Al Lang Stadium. He gave up two hits and three walks, but surrendered only one run before giving way to Carreno.
More 'B' stuff
Randy Milligan started at first base for the Orioles in the "B" game, delivering a base hit and a sacrifice fly in four at-bats.
Non-roster catcher Mark Parent and infielder Ricky Gutierrez each had multiple-hit games. Parent had a single and an RBI double in four at-bats. Gutierrez also had a single and a double in four trips.
Cardinals pitcher Joe Magrane struggled through three innings, giving up two runs on two hits and three walks.