Looking toward weekend, Oates leaves Davis at DH
Orioles manager Johnny Oates scratched Glenn Davis' tentative return to first base last night after a brief pre-game conversation with Davis.
Oates suggested Tuesday that Davis would probably see defensive duty at first in the series finale against the Oakland Athletics last night. Instead, Davis was the Orioles' designated hitter.
"I told him I wanted to be sure I had his bat this weekend," Oates said. "We're facing two left-handers, and I didn't want him to get sore by playing tonight.
"He may DH through the weekend."
Davis missed 25 games with a strained rib cage muscle. Since he returned from the disabled list May 4, however, he has been used only as a DH. On Tuesday night, Davis hit his first home run of the season.
"Johnny knows what's going on," Davis said. "He's managing me the way I can help the club out the best.
"I'm improving, but I'm having to make adjustments to get by."
Being used as the DH gives Davis the luxury of more time to regain his strength, he said.
"I only have to swing the bat, I don't have to worry about the other things involved," he said. "There's less stress on the body.
"I'm certainly gaining strength and improving. At the right time, I'll be back on the field playing."
Oates said, meanwhile, that he does not consider Davis a full-time DH.
Who loves ya, baby?
Rickey Henderson had this to say about the Orioles' fans at Camden Yards before last night's game:
"The fans have been excellent. They keep me in the ballgame, they keep me laughing. They love me. They go home and people say, 'What happened in the game?' They said, 'I don't know
what happened, but Rickey was acting crazy.' "
Going into last night's game, the Orioles' Brady Anderson ranked second in total bases (75) and extra-base hits (19) among the 38 American League outfielders with the qualifying number of 65 plate appearances. He also was fourth in RBI (28), third in stolen bases (13), seventh in batting (.289) and fifth in on-base percentage (.383). Anderson
then hit his fifth homer in the fifth inning.
More of the same
Asked if the presence of closer Dennis Eckersley affects how he plays the Athletics, Oates responded in the affirmative. "Sure it does," he said. "[Our players] better be thinking about that, too.
"But they [the A's] aren't the only team with a guy like that. The team coming in here this weekend, you better get something quick against them, too."
That's because the Angels have closer Bryan Harvey waiting to snuff out any late threats.
The Orioles and Athletics played with a three-man umpiring crew last night after Rocky Roe was scratched with the flu. That left the game in the hands of Jim Joyce (home), Terry Craft (first base) and Dave Phillips (third). . . .The Orioles have 4,000 tickets remaining for tomorrow night's game against the California Angels, and 1,000 each for the Saturday and Sunday games. . . .Ben McDonald (5-1, 3.40) opposes the Angels' Chuck Finley (1-2, 4.18) tomorrow night. Rick Sutcliffe (5-3, 3.86) faces Mark Langston (4-1, 5.08) on Saturday and Bob Milacki (3-2, 4.78) faces Julio Velera (2-2, 2.38) on Sunday.