Painful ankle keeps Anderson on bench

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

`It needs some time'

Seattle demotes Cloude

August 01, 1999|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

SEATTLE -- Orioles center fielder Brady Anderson remained out of the lineup yesterday because of an injury to his left ankle that leaves his future availability uncertain.

Anderson jammed his foot into the padded fence in center while chasing a home run by the Texas Rangers' Todd Zeile in the fourth inning of Wednesday's game at Camden Yards. He was replaced in the seventh by Rich Amaral, but was able to play the next day.

Manager Ray Miller held Anderson out of the lineup Friday night, and said yesterday that the ankle is worse than the club initially had believed.

"It needs some time, yeah," said Miller, who had Amaral playing center and batting leadoff yesterday. "I really don't want to tell the whole world that."

Asked if the ankle is sprained, Miller said, "I guess. They're just thinking he needs a day or two and it'll be all right. It's been bothering him and then he hit the wall in Baltimore. He planted his foot in that thing and twisted it."

Anderson had his ankle X-rayed Wednesday and said, "It showed some things. Let's leave it at that."

He also dismissed the possibility of going on the disabled list, saying: "I'll see if it gets any better. If not, I'll play with it like this." Anderson later joked that it may take 30 days for his return, but "I won't go on the DL."

Cloude sent down

Seattle right-hander Ken Cloude, who pitched at McDonogh School, was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma before yesterday's game. His place on the roster was taken by pitcher Tom Davey, who was acquired by the Mariners from Toronto on Wednesday in the David Segui deal.

Davey had been a Rule 5 pick of the Orioles in 1997, but was returned to the Blue Jays when the club determined he wouldn't be kept on the major-league roster.

Cloude was 3-4 with a 7.84 ERA in 26 games, including four starts. He had walked 38 and struck out 28 in 59 2/3 innings, and opponents were batting .343 against him.

Friday night recap

For perhaps the first time this season, Miller saw signs Friday night that starter Jason Johnson had become rattled. And partly because of it, a game the Orioles had led 2-0 got shaken up.

Johnson didn't retire a batter in the fifth inning. He issued a leadoff walk to Russ Davis and hit Dan Wilson with a pitch, then threw away Brian Hunter's sacrifice bunt to reduce the Orioles' lead to 2-1. Another walk, to David Bell, loaded the bases and brought Miller from the dugout.

In came Arthur Rhodes, out went one of his fastballs, and a 7-4 defeat went into the books.

Rhodes struck out Ken Griffey, but Alex Rodriguez reached down for a pitch that was supposed to be up and in and drove it into the left-field seats for his fifth career grand slam. One out later, Jay Buhner took Rhodes deep to complete a six-run inning.

Johnson had a tough play on the speedy Hunter, but still had a chance to nab him with a good throw. Instead, he threw wide of first base, sending a sellout crowd at Safeco Field into a frenzy.

"We got Jason a two-run lead, he walked a guy and he was a little upset at himself. And then the guy was bunting [Wilson], he hit him and he kind of lost a little control of himself there," Miller said of Johnson, who has been labeled an "untouchable" by club officials after assuming the role of fifth starter.

"On the bunt play, we had a play on on the first pitch and then that confused him, then he messed up and threw the ball away."

Miller said he sensed Johnson trying to overthrow as he dug a deeper hole for himself.

"I have patience with that because I think Jason's going to be a good pitcher. He's a young man just starting in the big leagues and I think he's got a high ceiling. He's going to get better each time out.

"That's a pretty darned good lineup, and he struck out five, including four the first time through. That's a pretty good young arm."

Johnson met Miller a few steps from the mound, handed him the ball and stalked to the dugout without lifting his head. Afterward, in a composed voice, he questioned being removed.

"I wasn't tired," he said. "I didn't understand why I was being taken out, but it's the manager's decision. I can't do anything about that."

A dog's day?

Rodriguez credited Rhodes with making a good pitch Friday, then took a jab at himself that isn't supported by the numbers.

"I was fortunate to put good wood on it and put it over the fence. I was just hoping it wouldn't go foul," he said.

"I still have to play better. I've been playing like a dog lately."

Oh yeah? Rodriguez's grand slam set a Mariners record for homers in July with 12. Despite missing 32 games with a knee injury, Rodriguez's home run ratio is one every 11.50 at-bats. Griffey, who leads the American League with 34 homers, is one every 11.52.

Around the horn

Cal Ripken moved into 41st place all time for runs scored with 1,554. In the former Orioles department, Jose Mesa passed Norm Charlton for fifth place on the Mariners' single-season save list with his 21st. Mike Schooler holds the team record with 33 in 1989.

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