O's Payton out up to 3 weeks

Hamstring strain sidelines outfielder

Gibbons may open season in left

March 27, 2007|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,Sun Reporter

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Orioles have said all spring that their roster logjam at first base and in left field would work itself out, but the last thing they wanted was an injury to make it happen.

Jay Payton, whom manager Sam Perlozzo had anointed as the starter in left field, left the Orioles' exhibition game yesterday in the first inning, clutching his left hamstring. He later was diagnosed with a Grade I hamstring strain, an injury that not only puts him in jeopardy of not playing on Opening Day, but also could force him to miss the first week or two of the season.

Marlins@Orioles Today, 1:05 p.m., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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