OAKLAND, Calif. -- David Wells' bout with gout in his right big toe continues, and yesterday the Orioles had the left-hander go through a series of X-rays to determine if something else might be exacerbating the problem.
The X-rays showed no abnormalities, so all Wells can do is sit and wait, in pain. His pain was so acute Saturday that he went to a Milwaukee-area hospital to have a shot to reduce the inflammation.
"Last night [Sunday] was the only night I've been sleeping since last Tuesday," Wells said. "The shot helped. It took the pain away."
Wells was scratched from his scheduled start yesterday, and now the Orioles are hoping he'll be able to pitch Saturday against the Seattle Mariners. But they really have no idea how long his problem will continue, because normally, gout goes away in a day or two and Wells' pain has lasted about a week.
Wells said he cannot run normally, only on the side of his foot, which inevitably leads to aches and pains elsewhere.
"It just takes a toll on every part of my body," Wells said. "It's killing my back. It affects a lot of things, blood pressure-wise, lots of things. I've learned I've got pretty good pain tolerance."
Orioles manager Davey Johnson said the X-rays were just a precautionary measure. "We don't want to take a chance it's something more," Johnson said. "If he's still not ready to pitch, we'll see where he slides in elsewhere."
Should Wells' big toe continue to bother him, the Orioles may consider placing him on the disabled list, retroactive to last Tuesday.
The Orioles' other walking wounded seem to be healing. Mike Devereaux and Roberto Alomar, bothered by strained hamstrings, reported no problems yesterday, and Bobby Bonilla and Brady Anderson were in last night's starting lineup, at designated hitter and center field, respectively.
Bonilla tested his sprained ankle before the game, and said he felt better. "Am I 100 percent?" Bonilla asked, rhetorically. "No. Can I swing a bat? Yes. It's about me playing and getting me in there and getting me going."
Bonilla hated being the designated hitter for the first month of the year. Now that it's his only chance to play, "I'm more receptive to it," he said. "It's not even a question, because I know I'm going back to right field.
"Like I said, I'm the happiest .200 hitter in baseball, because I'm going back to the outfield."
Anderson, coming back from a strained quadriceps muscle, wanted to play over the weekend in Milwaukee, Johnson said. "I don't want to play him in a game if he's hurt," Johnson said. "The objective is to play the best lineup, and keep guys healthy. And I'm real careful about leg [injuries]."
Anderson had last started a game last Tuesday, when he was the Orioles' designated hitter and went 0-for-5, with three strikeouts. Since then, he had been used twice as a pinch hitter. Bonilla had been used as a pinch hitter in Saturday's victory over Milwaukee. Alomar had started the previous four games at designated hitter.
Pub Date: 5/14/96
Opponent: Oakland Athletics
Site: Oakland (Calif.) Coliseum
Time: 10: 05
TV/Radio: Ch. 54/WBAL (1090 AM)
Starters: Orioles' Mike Mussina (5-2, 3.99) vs. Athletics' Carlos Reyes (3-5, 5.52)
Late O's game
Last night's Orioles-Athletics game in Oakland, Calif., did not end in time to be included in this edition. A complete report can be found in later editions. For a report on last night's game and other Orioles information, call Sundial at (410) 783-1800, ext. 5023.