McDonald doesn't stop for strain, but expects to start

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

May 25, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

MILWAUKEE -- Orioles right-hander Ben McDonald suffered a mild groin strain in his start Monday night against Milwaukee, but he said he expects to be able to make his next scheduled start, Saturday in Chicago.

"I don't know when it happened," McDonald said. "I started feeling it in the second inning, went inside and had it wrapped with an Ace bandage, and it didn't get a whole lot worse the rest of the night. It's sore today, but I don't anticipate Saturday being a problem at all."

McDonald said the injury might have been brought on by what he called the "unusually steep slope" of the County Stadium mound.

The groin strain didn't appear to hamper him on the mound. McDonald said he had his best fastball in several starts and his best curveball of the season. Earning his eighth victory in a 5-3 win over the Brewers, McDonald gave up two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Orioles manager Johnny Oates said if McDonald is not ready to pitch Saturday, he will replace him with Mike Oquist, who is scheduled to start Tuesday against Detroit.

Palmeiro seeking hot streak

Rafael Palmeiro's 24-game hitting streak that ended when he went 0-for-4 Monday night put him within 32 games of Joe DiMaggio's record hitting streak.

"It will never be broken," Palmeiro said. "Forget it. One reason is you see three different pitchers in a night now. It's a lot easier if you see the same pitcher every at-bat."

Palmeiro batted .379 with six home runs and 14 RBI during the club-record streak, which was the longest in baseball this season.

"I didn't really feel like I was hot during the streak," Palmeiro said. "I want to feel locked in. Right now, I just feel good. I don't feel hot."

Angelos in Milwaukee

Orioles majority owner Peter Angelos was in Milwaukee to meet with Brewers owner Bud Selig, who briefed him on the status of labor negotiations.

Angelos stayed at the team hotel but did not meet with Oates to discuss a report Angelos said was "without basis" that Oates' job was in jeopardy. "If any reassurances were necessary they would be offered, but I don't think he should feel any discomfort about his position," Angelos said.

Robby keeps open mind

If Angelos does get to the point he wants to make a change with the manager, he would not have to look far to find a potential replacement who has major-league managerial experience.

Assistant general manager Frank Robinson managed the 1989 Orioles to an 87-75 record a year after the club went 54-101. Robinson was fired to make way for Oates after the Orioles started 13-24 in 1991.

If asked to manage the Orioles at some point, would he be interested?

"If the situation was right, yes, I'd consider it," Robinson said yesterday. "It hasn't come up, and I don't expect it to come up."

Trade winds

Orioles assistant general manager Doug Melvin, the front office representative on this trip, met with Milwaukee general manager Sal Bando.

"We just talked needs at this point," Melvin said. "There doesn't appear to be a match at this time, but those things can always change."

Orioles general manager Roland Hemond and Bando have discussed Milwaukee right-hander Jaime Navarro (2-4, 7.74) who has pitched his way into disfavor in Milwaukee. Perhaps showcasing him, the Brewers had him make a rare relief appearance in the ninth inning.

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