Davis' pain grows with that of team Strain of 'good' hamstring clouds vet's availability


August 29, 1998|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

As if there were further need of confirmation that the Orioles' hot streak is over, it sat in the east end of the team's clubhouse.

Eric Davis, the guy who'd been leveling baseballs for the better part of the last month, mumbled amiably with a group of reporters curious as to what could possibly slow him down.

The answer -- his hamstrings -- kept him out of last night's lineup and may do so for the near future, according to Davis and manager Ray Miller.

Davis, hitting .329 with 24 home runs and 71 runs batted in, had his status thrown in doubt Thursday night when he strained his right Davis hamstring while running out a ground ball.

"It feels a little sore right now," Davis said. "It's not going to do anybody any good if I can't run and get the ball. It hurts [the team] more than it helps them."

He said he would wait until today to make any long-term evaluations of his fitness. At that point, he would notify Miller.

"It depends on how I feel tomorrow," Davis said of his status. "I'll let [Miller] know how I feel tomorrow."

Davis went 2-for-4 at the plate Thursday.

"There was no snap, no pull. Just a strain," Davis said, adding that he suffered the injury while compensating for a bothersome left hamstring.

"Obviously, we have to give him a day," Miller said. "He'd go out there tonight if I asked him to, but he's dragging both those legs and I'm just going to blow him out if I do. I'm asking an awful lot out of him."

The injury to Davis, whose 46 starts in right field are more than any other Orioles starter, puts a strain on a lineup dealing with a healing Brady Anderson.

B. J. Surhoff is the only regular outfielder in consistent operation.

Davis, who has hit in seven of nine games since his club-record 30-game hitting streak ended on Aug. 16, also is limited by a weakened right elbow.

According to the veteran, who has had bone chips in his right elbow all season, his arm is serviceable for the most part.

"The elbow's all right," Davis said, adding, "I'm not going to win any throwing contests."

Indeed, opponents have been able to successfully challenge Davis in their quest for the extra base.

Miller said Davis' leg problems may have been the source of those successful challenges.

"Legs are what help you throw," Miller said. "If you're favoring your arm and your legs are hurting, that's no good."

Pub Date: 8/29/98

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