Mets' Fernandez has fracture


The New York Mets' Sid Fernandez broke a bone in his pitching arm yesterday when he was hit just above the left wrist by a grounder off the bat of the Houston Astros' Javier Ortiz.

A Mets spokesman said Fernandez will be in a cast for six weeks and will be sidelined for up to three months. Fernandez sustained a non-displaced fracture of the ulna bone.

Last season, Fernandez was 9-14 with a 3.46 ERA. He has a career mark of 78-59. Fernandez has allowed 6.64 hits per nine innings, second only in major-league history to Nolan Ryan's 6.54.

Frank Viola started the game and was hit hard as the Astros beat the Mets, 11-4. Viola has bone spurs in his elbow and there has been speculation he may require surgery.

"The entire day was just disappointing," Mets manager Bud Harrelson said.

Fernandez, who was injured in the fifth inning, had the wrist placed in a cast and a sling after X-rays showed a break about three inches above the wrist. He will not be able to resume throwing for at least nine weeks.

RF "I'm just real disappointed," Fernandez said. "It's not a real bad

break. It's still in place -- it's just shattered."

* INDIANS: First baseman Keith Hernandez found out yesterday that he must have back surgery and will miss at least half of the season.

Hernandez, 37, who agreed to a $3.5 million, two-year contract with Cleveland before the 1990 season, was examined in New York last week by two doctors who supported the previous finding of the team's orthopedic surgeon.

* AMERICAN LEAGUE: President Bobby Brown gave representatives of Roger Clemens until March 22 to file a brief in the Boston pitcher's appeal of a five-day suspension and $10,000 fine.

BTC Brown hopes to decide shortly after that whether to uphold the penalties he imposed for Clemens' confrontation with plate umpire Terry Cooney in Game 4 of last year's AL playoffs.

* REDS: Cincinnati has no plans to trade pitcher Jack Armstrong, who has been fined $2,500 since leaving camp in a contract dispute.

"Right now, that's not one of our options," Cincinnati general manager Bob Quinn said.

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