Still a little fuzzy, Hammonds sits another one out

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

May 05, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Rookie right fielder Jeffrey Hammonds, sidelined by a concussion, rubbed his head before last night's game and tried to describe how he felt.

"I still don't feel right up here," Hammonds said. "I feel like I'm on a cloud or something. It's scary. It's more than just a headache. I really don't even know how to describe it."

Hammonds has been a bit fuzzy since crashing into Seattle catcher Bill Haselman in the first inning Saturday night.

Hammonds, cleared by doctors to play in Tuesday night's 9-1 victory over Oakland, went 3-for-4 in the game, but came out of it shortly after dropping Scott Brosius' fly ball in the seventh

inning.

"I feel the same as I did yesterday," Hammonds said last night. "I thought I was OK, except when I was running the bases. I had a hard time focusing on the base. Running from first to third I almost tripped over second base.

"My head was hurting, but I didn't think I had a concussion. The last thing on my mind was that I still had a lingering concussion."

Hammonds was put through tests and examined by a doctor in Oakland yesterday.

"We'll see how he feels, have our doctors look at him [tomorrow] morning, and see what they say," Orioles manager Johnny Oates said. "I would like to be optimistic and say he will play [tomorrow], but that's up to him and the doctors. I'm not going to play him until his dizzy spells stop. The last thing I want is for him to be up there hitting and have one of those come on."

Devereaux breaks out

Orioles center fielder Mike Devereaux took a .160 average and 27 strikeouts into Tuesday night's 9-1 victory over the Athletics, and took improved confidence out of it.

Devereaux homered twice, had an RBI single and lifted his batting average to .188. Devereaux's fifth and sixth home runs moved him into second on the team in that category, behind Rafael Palmeiro, who hit his ninth last night.

The homers also allowed Devereaux to tie Curt Blefary for 16th on the Orioles' all-time list with 82.

Despite the home runs, Devereaux said he took particular delight in his seventh single of the season, off right-hander Bill Taylor.

"It was just as important as the homers," he said. "It was a slider away. That has been a tough pitch for me. I was able to stay back. I didn't overswing and it found a hole."

Devereaux said he tried to clear his mind to break his slump.

"I felt I was trying to do too much at the plate," said Devereaux, who hit the ball sharply last night, including the go-ahead sacrifice fly in the 10th inning. "I was thinking too much. I just needed to go up there, see the ball and hit it."

Devereaux, who prefers hitting second in the batting order as he did in his career year of 1992, batted from the eighth spot Tuesday.

"I don't think it takes pressure off me," Devereaux said of being moved out of the No. 2 hole. "I'm used to hitting at the top of the lineup. But when you look at this lineup, it [eighth] really isn't a bad place to hit."

Devereaux moved back to the second spot in the order last night in Hammonds' absence.

Miscellaneous

Two ex-Orioles are among the batting leaders in Japan. Mike Pagliarulo was hitting .328 after 20 games and Tom O'Malley was at .319. Faring less well was Rick Schu, who was hitting .197 but had three home runs. . . . A's first baseman Mark McGwire, slowed by a lingering heel injury, will be seen in Texas tomorrow by Dr. Donald Baxter, who operated on McGwire last Sept. 24. McGwire started only once on the seven-game homestand that ended last night.

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