Devereaux's cheek swollen but unbroken

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

May 09, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

Mike Devereaux, released from the hospital a few hours after being hit on the left cheek by a pitch from Chad Ogea in the Orioles' 8-6 win over the Cleveland Indians yesterday, said he will be back in the lineup as soon as the swelling subsides.

Devereaux homered, tripled, and drove in four runs, pushing his batting average (.211) above .200 at the end of a game for the first time since April 11. He has driven in nine runs in the past four games.

Just when he had broken his slump, he feared he had broken something much worse.

"I thought about that when I was down on the ground thinking my jaw was broken," said Devereaux, who won't be available tonight. "Now I know everything is fine and I should be back in there soon."

Blood gushed from Devereaux's mouth as he was on his knees. A concerned Ogea came in quickly to ask how he was doing.

"I heard him apologizing when I was on the ground," Devereaux said. "I don't think it was intentional. I know it wasn't intentional. But that doesn't make it feel any better."

Ogea also called the Orioles' clubhouse to inquire about Devereaux's condition.

"There was no way I was trying to hit him," Ogea said. "It was a fastball up and in and he was looking away. Things like that are going to happen in this game. You have to pitch him inside. You hate to see anybody get hurt, but you have to pitch inside."

Orioles manager Johnny Oates expressed no doubt Ogea's pitch was unintentional.

"He asked Mike if he was OK, then he asked me," Oates said. "I looked up at him and he was white as a ghost. He looked like he was about to pass out."

Roster move likely

With as many as four position players possibly unavailable for tonight's game, a roster move is likely.

Right fielder Jeffrey Hammonds, who has played once and has missed five games since a home-plate crash a week ago Saturday, came to the park expecting to play yesterday, but found out otherwise after shagging fly balls.

"That was anything short of a disaster," said Hammonds, who is suffering from post-concussion syndrome. "The dizziness is gone, but I'm having trouble seeing, trouble with depth perception. Hopefully, that's the last step."

Third baseman Chris Sabo, scratched from the lineup for the eighth time since April 13, was ready to play yesterday until his back locked on him 20 minutes before game time.

"He was in the training room, he bent over to tie his shoes and couldn't get back up," Oates said.

Sabo will be examined by doctors today, when his status will be re-evaluated.

Harold Baines fouled a ball off his right big toe and had the toenail drilled to relieve the pressure. X-rays revealed no fracture.

If Hammonds, Baines and Sabo are unavailable, that would leave Jeff Tackett as the only extra player on the bench.

"Baines will be available to pinch hit," Oates said. "I wasn't going to play him against [left-hander Al] Leiter anyway."

Here come Blue Jays

The two-time defending World Series champions visit Camden Yards tonight through Wednesday to play the Orioles for the first time this season. The Blue Jays have gone 8-5 against the Orioles in each of the past four seasons and have been particularly hard on Baltimore in the ninth inning.

New Orioles closer Lee Smith wasn't around then, but he can sympathize with predecessor Gregg Olson.

"I imagine a lot of teams have had trouble with them in the ninth inning," Smith said of the Blue Jays. "They are a smart-hitting team. They don't just go up there swinging for the fences. They'll take a single."

Like the Orioles, the Blue Jays won't be at full strength.

Joe Carter, suffering from vertigo, returned to the ballpark yesterday to take batting practice but said he felt like he was in a haze. He is questionable.

Shortstop Alex Gonzalez (hamstring strain) went on the disabled list and the Blue Jays replaced him on the roster with outfielder Rob Butler.

Second baseman Roberto Alomar (lower back soreness) has started three of the past eight games.

Right-hander Dave Stewart (groin strain) said he expects to make his scheduled start in Wednesday's series finale.

Broken bat flies into stands

Carlos Baerga broke his bat on a ninth-inning single off Smith.

Part of the bat flew into the stands and hit a child, who was carried to the first-aid center and was treated for soreness in his jaw and mild swelling, according to an Orioles spokesman. The boy -- who kept the bat -- later was spotted walking on Eutaw Street and smiling after the game, the spokesman said.

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