Knee injury sends Anderson to sideline Center fielder strains tendon after hitting wall, might miss Indians series

Oriles Notebook

August 21, 1998|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Just as Brady Anderson was continuing to pump more life into a batting average that had gone flat through the first half of the season, the Orioles' center fielder was forced from last night's game with an injury that puts his availability for the weekend series against Cleveland in doubt.

Anderson strained the tendon just below his right kneecap while attempting to make a leaping catch of Bubba Trammell's double in the second inning. He was examined by club orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs and X-rays were negative. Results of a magnetic resonance imaging exam will be available today.

Anderson rammed into the fence as the ball hit below his outstretched arm, then slumped momentarily on the warning track after throwing to the infield. After watching replays, trainer Richie Bancells said the injury occurred when Anderson jarred the knee as he landed.

Juan Guzman threw one pitch to the next batter, Paul Sorrento, before Anderson walked off the field as Bancells and manager Ray Miller emerged from the dugout. Rich Becker replaced him in center.

"I don't expect him to play [tonight], but he might in a couple days," Bancells said.

Anderson laid down a sacrifice bunt in his only at-bat against Tampa Bay left-hander Tony Saunders. He had hit in 12 of his past 13 games, batting .389 (21-for-54) with five homers to raise his season's average to .244. Swinging through the pain of a strained shoulder joint, he was hitting .063 on May 11.

Drabek due for rehab start

Doug Drabek threw off the mound for about 15 minutes yesterday, facing hitters Willie Greene and Becker from behind a protective screen. Miller said the veteran right-hander could make a rehab start Tuesday at an undetermined minor-league site.

"I felt fine," said Drabek, who may throw again tomorrow. "I was anxious to see how the bats reacted to the different pitches. I also wanted to get full extension and do things like getting off the mound to see how my leg would react to that. I was able to walk off the field, so I guess that was a good sign."

Drabek is on the disabled list retroactive to Aug. 1 with a strained left hamstring. Physically, he said he feels ready to return, but understands that he may have to wait until rosters expand in two weeks so the club won't have to clear a spot for him.

That would change, however, if Jimmy Key or Scott Kamieniecki became unavailable. Key is pitching with pain in his left shoulder, and Kamieniecki has some disk-related pain in his upper back that may require surgery after the season.

"We'll see how Jimmy and Kammy hold up," Miller said. "But this gets Doug freshened up real good and he might be able to give us something."

Eye on the Red Sox

Players weren't huddled around the television sets in the clubhouse, but there was noticeable interest in the broadcast of Boston's loss to Kansas City yesterday. Before batting practice even started, the Orioles knew they had gained ground in the wild-card race.

Later, they would give it back.

Becker, Jeff Reboulet, Pete Smith and Arthur Rhodes sat on one sofa, staring at the screen. Rafael Palmeiro and Alan Mills glanced at another set while playing cards. Key and hitting coach Rick Down watched while getting dressed.

"This late in the season you've got to see what they're doing," Mills said, "but it doesn't matter if we don't win. If they lose and we lose, it doesn't make much difference."

Surhoff breaks out

B. J. Surhoff spent much of the afternoon in the video room, studying tapes of some recent at-bats. He wasn't watching them with admiration.

Heading into last night's confrontation with Saunders, Surhoff had gone 16-for-69 (.232) in the past 18 games, lowering his average to .283.

Miller considered giving Surhoff the night off, but there aren't many favorable matchups with the club down to one right-handed hitting outfielder, Eric Davis, after last week's trade of Jeffrey Hammonds. So Miller decided to stick with Surhoff in left field rather than start left-handed hitters Becker and Greene.

At least something went right for the Orioles last night. Surhoff had three hits, including a game-tying home run in the seventh.

"He's a little beat up, but he doesn't believe a day off will help him," Miller said.

Around the horn

Hitting his eighth home run Wednesday, which tied a career high, didn't assure Mike Bordick of being in the starting lineup last night. He was given a breather by Miller, who penciled in Jeff Reboulet at shortstop. Bordick is battling a cold, "plus Rebs hasn't been playing that much. I just thought this was a good time," Miller said. Wade Boggs went 0-for-4, ending his 11-game hitting streak. Wednesday night's 6-4 win over the Devil Rays drew a 10.4 rating, the highest for an Orioles game on Home Team Sports this season. More than 102,000 homes in the Baltimore metro area were watching.

Pub Date: 8/21/98

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