Sabo on DL Buford activated


May 10, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

The Orioles placed third baseman Chris Sabo (back spasms) on the disabled list after last night's 4-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays and replaced him on the roster with outfielder Damon Buford.

Buford arrived in Baltimore from Ottawa, where Triple-A Rochester was playing, in time to play last night, but the club decided to delay the roster move.

"There wasn't an urgent need to do it before the game," Orioles manager Johnny Oates said.

Why not? Because Mike Devereaux was able to play one night after being hit on the left cheek by a pitch from Cleveland's Chad Ogea.

Devereaux wore a protective C-flap, an extension of the ear flap on the batting helmet.

The decision to put Sabo on the 15-day disabled list leaves Leo Gomez as the everyday third baseman until Sabo returns.

"We have him on a plan where hopefully seven to 10 days from now he will be back to 100 percent and will be able to help us the last 4 1/2 months of the season," Oates said.

Sabo, out of the lineup for the ninth time because of back spasms, was injected with Novocain yesterday.

"I had a cortisone injection last year and they said if it gets real bad, they'll go in there again and put some cortisone in it," Sabo said.

Sabo had a herniated disk last season, but he said he does not think this is the same injury.

"It feels like a muscle strain, to tell you the truth," Sabo said. "It feels good for about three or four days, to almost 100 percent, then I do something and it goes right back down.

"Up until a couple of days ago, it was feeling as good as it had since spring training. I wish it was somewhere else on my body. It would be easier to deal with."

Might it be a disk problem, Sabo was asked.

"There is a slight bulge there, but if they looked at everybody's back they'd find that," Sabo said. "I think it's all muscular. My back gets stiff as a board and I can't move. The cold weather might have a little bit to do with it. Maybe I'll just play from June through August, sign a contract contingent on that."

Devo's grit impresses mates

Devereaux, who played despite a puffy left cheek, made a running catch on the warning track, and scored the tying run in the sixth inning after a leadoff single.

"I admire Cal Ripken's streak, what he has done, and I just like to be out there every day," Devereaux said. "It's a challenge. I can't stand watching a game from the bench."

The fact that he was coming off a week in which he hit .467 (seventh highest in the AL) and three home runs (tied for second in AL) also made him eager to get back.

Devereaux's return left quite an impression in the clubhouse.

"It's pretty impressive," Orioles head trainer Richie Bancells said.

"He might say otherwise, but with the swelling and everything, I'm sure he's not 100 percent comfortable."

Said first baseman Rafael Palmeiro: "It shows a lot that he can go back out there after getting hit in the face like that. Most players would not play for weeks. I'm surprised he was in there. I was expecting that he might not even be here."

Devereaux said he did not have any headaches or dizziness.

Stewart scratched

Toronto right-hander Dave Stewart (groin strain) has been scratched from his scheduled start in tomorrow's series finale and will be replaced by Todd Stottlemyre, who will pitch on three days' rest.

Slumping Juan Guzman (3-3, 6.49) will oppose Jamie Moyer (1-1, 5.50) tonight.

After completing the series with Toronto tomorrow night, the Orioles play an exhibition Thursday at Triple-A Rochester, before a three-game weekend series against the Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome.

Hammonds discouraged

Right fielder Jeffrey Hammonds still had trouble fielding fly balls yesterday, nine days after crashing into Seattle catcher Bill Haselman.

"I've had better days," said Hammonds, who went 3-for-4 in his only game after suffering a concussion. "This is taking too long."

Oates said before the game he would feel comfortable using Hammonds on the bases or at the plate, but not in the field.

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