Hit by backswing, Hoiles exits early with cut on head No stitches are required

Oriole Notebook

coach says catcher 'OK'

October 02, 1997|By Roch Kubatko and Joe Strauss | Roch Kubatko and Joe Strauss,SUN STAFF

SEATTLE -- Orioles catcher Chris Hoiles had to leave the game in the sixth inning last night after being hit on the side of the head by Joey Cora's bat as the Mariners' second baseman completed his swing.

Hoiles lay on the ground for several minutes while trainer Richie Bancells attended to him. Hoiles walked off the field, his arms draped over the shoulders of Bancells and first base coach John Stearns, and was replaced by Lenny Webster. Bancells held a towel to Hoiles' head.

After the inning ended, infielder Jeff Reboulet stepped out of the dugout and gave a thumbs-up sign to Hoiles' wife, Dana.

Hoiles, who already has played with a variety of injuries this season, including a partially torn knee ligament and strained Achilles' tendon, had homered off reliever Mike Timlin in the top of the inning.

Hoiles' cut did not require stitches but the catcher was taken to a hospital for precautionary X-rays. "He's OK," bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks said.

Hoiles probably would have had two days off anyway. With Scott Erickson pitching today, Webster was scheduled to start and the teams are off tomorrow.

Webster has been nursing a sore right elbow, but said before last night's game he was ready.

"I can play. I can play now," Webster said a bit testily when approached before the game.

Webster is unaffected at the plate by the condition but it has prevented him from getting full extension when throwing. He failed to catch Erickson on Saturday for the first time this season.

Myers or Benitez?

In back-to-back victories here in May, Orioles manager Davey Johnson pulled struggling closer Randy Myers in the ninth inning with right-handed hitting Edgar Martinez due up, choosing a matchup with Armando Benitez. Both times, Benitez got the last out and the save.

Would Johnson make a similar move in this series, especially with Benitez not allowing a run to Seattle in five regular-season innings, and Myers giving up five (three earned) along with 11 hits in 6 1/3 ?

Don't count on it.

"Randy's a lot different pitcher now," Johnson said. "He's using both sides of the plate. He's learned that a lot of American League hitters like the ball away from them and now he's coming in on them. That's one of the reasons he's saved 45 out of 46."

Tarasco, Krivda take seat

There were no surprises on Johnson's postseason roster. To reach the 25-man limit, the Orioles placed right-hander Shawn Boskie, left-hander Rick Krivda and outfielder Tony Tarasco on the inactive list.

Boskie had a bone chip removed from his right elbow on Friday in Los Angeles and wouldn't be able to pitch the rest of the season if the Orioles advanced to the ALCS. Johnson's decision to carry 10 pitchers into the Division Series eliminated Krivda. Tarasco had three hits in his final 37 at-bats, dating to July 20, and became expendable with Seattle starting three left-handers in the Division Series.

Davis eyes chemo change

Outfielder Eric Davis is trying to reschedule tomorrow's chemotherapy treatment for in the morning, which has been his usual time until this week, rather than late in the afternoon in hopes of reducing the fatigue he'll carry into Saturday's Game 3 at Camden Yards.

"The office where I normally go to get it is booked," he said. "The plan right now is having it moved back to Johns Hopkins. Hopefully, if we do it that way, I'll be able to get my treatment at the normal time."

Though Davis has played twice this year the day after a treatment, he has never done so after a long flight home, and having the chemotherapy administered later could leave him even more tired.

"It might take me a little longer to recover," he said.

Asked how many games he thought Davis would be able to play in this series, Davey Johnson said, "The stress of postseason play, I don't know what that's going to do to him. But I'm sure he's going to give every shot he can to play both games here. How it is when we go back home, I don't know."

Davis has nine chemotherapy treatments left, and said he wouldn't consider missing one because it conflicted with his baseball commitment.

"My rehabilitation from cancer is more important than a baseball game," he said. "I would in no way, form or fashion jeopardize my health for a baseball game."

Confidence in umps

American League president Gene Budig met before last night's game with the series' six-man umpiring crew. The meeting is usually traditional, but the conversation took on an edge due to recent comments by umpires union chief Richie Phillips that his membership would adopt a hard-line "zero tolerance" policy regarding disagreements with managers and players.

Budig downplayed any unseemly overtones because of Phillips' comments but did not deny the controversy would be addressed.

"I'm fully confident our umpires will handle the series in a professional and dignified manner. I have no reason to believe otherwise," Budig said. "I don't have any reason to anticipate a problem."

Playing politics

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