Sabo sits while hand is on mend

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

August 07, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

MILWAUKEE -- Chris Sabo, struck on the right hand by Ricky Bones' pitch in the first inning of Friday night's game, stayed in the game but was a late scratch from the lineup yesterday.

Sabo had a sore index finger and had trouble gripping the ball. X-rays of the finger revealed no fracture and the injury was diagnosed as a bruise.

"It doesn't bother him as much swinging the bat as gripping the ball," Orioles manager Johnny Oates said. "He tried to throw but he couldn't. I'd like to have him available to swing the bat against the three left-handers in New York."

Sabo likely will be used as the designated hitter against Yankees left-handers Sterling Hitchcock, Jim Abbott and Jimmy Key.

Wegman scratches from start

Bill Wegman, the right-hander the Orioles talked about acquiring from the Brewers in a trade last month, was supposed to start last night's game but left the team temporarily for a family emergency.

Wegman flew to Cincinnati yesterday morning to be with his ill grandmother. Jaime Navarro learned by phone late yesterday morning that he would replace Wegman.

Devereaux slump continues

Mike Devereaux, whose brief stance change didn't break his slump, hasn't turned things around with his old stance, either, but that didn't keep Oates from playing him ahead of Dwight Smith last night.

Going into last night's game, Devereaux had gone 4-for-49 since returning from the disabled list July 1. In five games going into last night, Smith had hit .444.

Devereaux had a .324 lifetime average against Navarro going into last night's game.

"He's been swinging better lately," Oates said of Devereaux.

Baseball's dynamic duos

Going into last night's games, the combined win total of 28 of Orioles right-handers Mike Mussina and Ben McDonald was the highest in baseball.

David Cone and Tom Gordon of Kansas City and Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine of Atlanta were tied for second with 27 wins.

Oates still pulls for Sutcliffe

Rick Sutcliffe, out with a torn rotator cuff, apparently has pitched his last game in the major leagues.

"For a normal man it would be over, but don't count him out," Oates said of the former Oriole who signed with the St. Louis Cardinals for this season. "The odds certainly are against him with the stuff they found in there, but if he wants to pitch more, just don't count him out. He's a redhead with seven lives."

Numbers game

Rookie right-hander Armando Benitez said he was told a scout who clocked him with a Jugs gun had two of his pitches at 100 mph in the inning in which he struck out the side against the Toronto Blue Jays last week at Camden Yards. . . . Going into last night's game, the Orioles had a 4.38 ERA, fifth best in the American League. They ranked behind the only four clubs with better records than theirs. 1. Chicago (3.99); 2. Kansas City (4.14); 3. New York (4.20); 5. Cleveland (4.32). . . . Chris Hoiles popped out with the bases loaded last night, but had five hits in his first eight at-bats with the bases loaded.

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