Injured Devereaux to be examined today DL a possibility for center fielder

Orioles notebook

May 03, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

Mike Devereaux, who was injured in the second inning yesterday, will be re-examined today, after which the Orioles will likely decide whether he'll have to be put on the disabled list.

The center fielder suffered strained neck muscles and a sprained collarbone joint when he fell to the ground trying to catch a drive hit by Kansas City third baseman Phil Hiatt. X-rays taken yesterday were negative, but there was no indication as to when Devereaux would be able to return to the lineup.

The Orioles will wait for an opinion from Dr. Charles Silberstein, the team's orthopedic specialist, before making a determination. Devereaux is disabled, the Orioles probably would be forced to recall an outfielder from the minor leagues for the second time in four days.

Jack Voigt, who replaced Devereaux yesterday, joined the club Friday after Luis Mercedes was traded to the San Francisco Giants. Speculation on a possible replacement for Devereaux centers around Damon Buford, who is hitting .313 with Triple-A Rochester and is the best defensive alternative, left-handed hitting Mark Leonard (.247 with three home runs and 16 RBI at Rochester), or possibly Jeffrey Hammonds, who has slumped recently, but is hitting .300 for Double-A Bowie.

If Devereaux is sidelined, Leonard might be the most practical choice, because it would give manager Johnny Oates the option of platooning him with Voigt or Sherman Obando.

The double by Hiatt that led to the injury was hit into the left-center field gap. Devereaux, who was playing at medium depth, retreated to his right and just missed making the catch.

"I knew I was going to have to dive for it," he said, "so the idea is to tuck [his shoulder] and roll. I just didn't tuck enough.

"It's tougher to make a high dive," said Devereaux, "but the next time I'm in that situation, I still [will] make a dive for the ball."

Major relief

The Orioles' bullpen continues to be the second-most effective in the American League. It has worked a league-high 76 innings, allowed only 56 hits and has a collective 2.36 ERA, second in the league behind Texas (2.24 prior to yesterday).

However, there had been one thing missing from the bullpen resume -- a victory. Until yesterday, when Todd Frohwirth got credit for the 4-3 win over the Royals, the relievers were 0-and-6.

"The [won-lost] record is a matter of when you get hitting," said Frohwirth. "We've got the best bullpen in the league. We just want the ball.

"We're playing better right now, even though our record [9-14] isn't good. It will take some time, but we'll be all right. We've got a good club."

Warming up to home

Winning four of five this week enabled the Orioles to win back-to-back series at home for the first time since last June-July when they won two of three against both Milwaukee and Chicago.

Before winning two of three against the Royals over the weekend, the Orioles had swept a two-game series against the Minnesota Twins.

"I think we're playing better," said Oates. "This one [yesterday's win] wasn't pretty, but we got outstanding relief pitching. I'll take them [wins] any way I can get them."

Another full house

Yesterday's crowd of 43,844 was the ninth sellout in 12 home games for the Orioles and the 76th in 92 games overall at Camden Yards.

The attendance figure was lower than normal because it was Safety Patrol Day.

Miscellaneous

The Orioles are 6-6 at home, 49-44 at Camden Yards in the last two years. . . . The Royals haven't won a series on the road in four tries. . . . When Kansas City took a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning yesterday it was the first time in six starts that David Cone had a lead anything other than 1-0. But the three-run bulge wasn't enough either. . . . In the last week, Harold Baines (12-for-18, .667) and Harold Reynolds (10-for- 24, .417) combined to hit .524 (22-for-42). Before that the two were hitting a combined .193 (16-for-83).

PLAYING IT CLOSE

Yesterday's 4-3 victory over the Royals was the Orioles' 10th one-run game in 23 this season:

Date ... Opponent ....... Result

4/11 ... at Seattle ..... L, 7-6 (12)

... at Texas ....... W, 6-5

4/18 ... California ..... W, 4-3

4/20 ... Chicago ........ L, 2-1

4/22 ... Chicago ........ L, 3-2

4/23 .. at Kansas City .. L, 7-6

.. at Kansas City .. W, 6-5

.. at Kansas City .. L, 3-2

.... Kansas City .... L, 5-4

5/2 .... Kansas City .... W, 4-3

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