Discomfort curbs Hammonds' return

July 14, 1998|By Roch Kubatko

Making his first start in the outfield since May 31, Orioles outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds was forced from last night's game after five innings. He experienced some slight shoulder discomfort after striking out in the first inning.

Batting fifth and playing right field, Hammonds lined a single to left in his next at-bat in the fourth. He hustled into third base on B. J. Surhoff's double down the left-field line, sliding to barely beat the throw from Shannon Stewart.

He returned to right field in the fifth, but Rich Becker replaced him the next inning.

Hammonds was activated from the DL on Saturday after missing almost six weeks with a disk-related nerve irritation in his neck that had caused severe muscle spasms.

After the game Hammonds described the discomfort that forced him from the game as being in the back of his left shoulder and down his left arm.

"I haven't played in seven weeks," Hammonds said. "It's not a setback but definitely a twinge to let me know I haven't been playing. My muscles aren't used to doing things just yet. I came here with a day and a half of rehab. Am I ready? Who knows? Am I regressing? No."

He had appeared in three rehab games for Double-A Bowie, going 2-for-6 with three stolen bases.

"He tells me he's all right," Miller said before the game.

Miller then had said he would wait to determine how much Hammonds plays. "We'll have to see what his physical condition is."

Pub Date: 7/14/98

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