Anderson cheer, Webster fear X-rays on outfielder's ribs negative

Orioles notebook

catcher strains muscle blocking plate

March 26, 1997|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The Orioles received some good news on center fielder Brady Anderson, and a scare with catcher Lenny Webster yesterday.

The X-rays taken on Anderson's bruised ribs Monday came back negative. "It's one of those proverbial day-to-day jobs," he said yesterday after walking out of the trainer's room with a bandage wrapped around his left side.

Anderson sustained the injury while diving back to first base on an attempted pickoff during Sunday's game against the Atlanta Braves. He experienced some pain while running in the outfield before Monday's game in Vero Beach, and returned to Fort Lauderdale.

Manager Davey Johnson said he expects Anderson, batting .396, to be out two or three days, "but you never know."

Webster suffered what is believed to be a slight groin pull after former Oriole Joe Orsulak slid into him at home plate in the seventh inning of the Florida Marlins' 8-5 victory. He was replaced by Kris Gresham.

"We're getting a little bit beat up here," Johnson said. "We'll see how it is [today]."

Webster said he didn't think the injury was serious. He was able to get dressed afterward without any trouble.

"Hopefully, I'll be out a day or two. I'll be all right. If I wasn't, I'd still be sitting down," he said.

"It's just a freak thing that happened. It was a close play at the plate and I didn't have a lot of time to react and position myself. The ball short-hopped me, I missed it and I tried to close the lane at the plate. When I did, he kind of took my leg out with him."

Alomar cleared to pinch hit

Johnson said he was given the OK by medical personnel to allow Roberto Alomar to pinch hit and will take the second baseman to Port St. Lucie for today's game against the New York Mets.

"I might double-switch with him," Johnson said.

Incaviglia improving

Pete Incaviglia said his strained left hamstring has gotten significantly better over the past couple of days, and he hopes to play today or tomorrow. The injury occurred during Saturday's game at Port St. Lucie while he was running out a ground ball.

Johnson has left open the possibility of putting Incaviglia on the disabled list, making it retroactive so he could return the same time Alomar's five-game suspension ends April 7 in Kansas City.

"He hasn't said anything to me yet," Incaviglia said. "I hope that's not the case. I haven't missed an Opening Day in 11 years and I don't want to miss this one. But I want to be smart about it."

Incaviglia took batting practice yesterday. "I'm trying to do everything I normally do and see what happens," he said.

Catcher Laker claimed

The Orioles have claimed catcher Tim Laker off waivers from the Montreal Expos. Laker, 27, who will report today, didn't play last year after having reconstructive surgery on his right elbow and some follow-up procedures. He batted .220 in 135 games with the Expos over parts of three seasons.

The Orioles also optioned right-hander Hector Ramirez to Triple-A Rochester, assigned right-hander Brian Williams to their minor-league camp in Sarasota and returned infielder Danny Magee to the Atlanta Braves.

Ramirez was acquired from the Mets on Saturday for infielders Manny Alexander and Scott McClain. Magee had been selected by the Orioles in the Rule 5 draft.

The moves leave the Orioles with 33 players in camp, including 15 pitchers.

Rocky rocked in fourth

The Marlins did most of their damage against right-hander Rocky Coppinger in one inning, but it was enough. They scored four times in the fourth and went on to the victory.

Coppinger escaped a second-inning jam when he struck out Jeff Conine and Charles Johnson looking with runners on second and third, but the Marlins loaded the bases with one out in the fourth and Conine singled up the middle for a 2-0 lead.

Coppinger struck out Johnson on a 3-2 slider, but former Oriole Gregg Zaun brought in two more runs with a bloop double to right-center. Right fielder Eric Davis dived for the ball, had it momentarily, then lost it when he hit the ground.

Those were the only runs Coppinger allowed in five innings.

The slider that struck out Johnson was another sign that Coppinger is maturing as a pitcher.

"The difference between last year and this year is I'm trying to be a little more unpredictable in certain situations," he said.

Zaun, who was sent to the Marlins last August for reliever Terry Mathews, tormented his former club, throwing out Jerome Walton trying to steal in the first inning, and hitting a home run off Jesse Orosco in the sixth.

Jeffrey Hammonds made the most of his two at-bats, singling in a run in the seventh and hitting a three-run homer in the ninth.

Around the horn

Cal Ripken committed his first error this spring, throwing wide of first base after charging the ball in the ninth inning. If left-hander Rick Krivda isn't claimed off waivers by today, he'll go to Triple-A Rochester rather than become a free agent. Former Gov. William Donald Schaefer attended the game.

Spring break

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