Bolton gets big-league gift


May 06, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

Veteran left-hander Tom Bolton, who turns 32 today, will find ** his birthday present, an Orioles uniform, hanging in a locker in the home clubhouse at Camden Yards.

Bolton replaces left-hander Arthur Rhodes (patellar tendinitis, left knee), who yesterday was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 2. Rhodes tentatively is scheduled to come off the disabled list to make his next start May 21, the next time the Orioles will need a fifth starter.

The addition of Bolton gives the Orioles two left-handers among seven relievers.

Bolton's contract was purchased from Triple-A Rochester, where went 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA and two saves in 12 relief appearances. Bolton, a veteran of seven major-league seasons, pitched for Boston from 1987 to 1992 and was with Detroit last season.

Fernandez's right knee ailing

Left-hander Sid Fernandez became the third Orioles pitcher in a week to leave a start prematurely because of a leg injury.

Fernandez left the Orioles' 4-3, 10-inning victory over the Oakland Athletics with one out in the sixth inning Wednesday night because of pain in his right knee.

"It's nothing serious," Fernandez said. "I just kind of irritated it a little. It acted up a little, but I'm not worried about it."

Fernandez underwent arthroscopic surgery on the knee after tearing cartilage in it covering first base April 30, 1993.

"It started when I was playing catch [Tuesday] and it flared up all day," Fernandez said. "The doctors told me after the surgery it was going to be tender for about a year. I don't see it as a problem. It's not a problem. I don't expect to miss any time with it."

Making his fourth start, Fernandez (1-0, 2.16) allowed six hits and one run.

Mike Devereaux won the game with a 10th-inning sacrifice fly after Lee Smith blew a save for the first time as an Oriole in the ninth, giving up a home run to Troy Neel.

Williamson to rescue

Orioles long man Mark Williamson was pressed into short relief duty on short notice Wednesday night.

He ended two long droughts, pitching for the first time in 13 days, and earning a save for the first time since Oct. 3, 1992. He pitched a 1-2-3 10th inning.

"I was a little nervous," Williamson said. "It's been a while and I was asked to come in the bottom of the 10th inning with a one-run lead."

Williamson said he tried to throw every other day to stay fresh during the period of inactivity. He was getting up to throw when the phone rang and he was told to warm up.

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