Oakland's Stewart leaves in 2nd with strained...


Oakland's Stewart leaves in 2nd with strained rib muscle, 0) could miss 2 starts

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Four-time 20-game winner Dave Stewart had to be removed from yesterday's game in the second inning after suffering a muscle strain in his rib cage, and probably will be lost to the Oakland Athletics for at least two starts.

Stewart grimaced after throwing a third strike past Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Sam Horn and motioned the trainers to the mound after throwing one pitch to Dwight Evans.

"It felt just like being stabbed," Stewart said. "There's reason to be concerned. It's either a pulled or strained rib muscle, and for most players it's two or three weeks to get back."

The injury has to be considered a significant blow to the A's, who have weathered a series of pitching injuries to remain at the top of the American League West standings. Three pitchers -- Gene Nelson, Rick Honeycutt and Todd Burns -- are on the disabled list, and Stewart could join them.

If he does, it would be the first time Stewart has been on the DL He has not missed a start since he joined the A's rotation on July 29, 1986.

The Athletics will play at Memorial Stadium next week, Tuesday to Thursday.

Hoiles forced out of game

Catcher Chris Hoiles was hit on the arm by a wild pitch in the fifth inning and had to leave the game.

Reliever Mark Williamson threw a ball that bounced in front of the plate, caromed off Hoiles' shoulder and cleared the backstop. Bob Melvin was in the game as the DH, so Ernie Whitt replaced Hoiles behind the plate.

Hoiles suffered a bruised shoulder and is listed as day-to-day He's scheduled for precautionary X-rays today, but A's orthopedist Dr. Jerry Goldman told him that the chances of a fracture were "one in a million."

Williamson pitches for cycle

Williamson pitched to four batters in the fifth inning and gavup a single, a double, a triple and a home run. He also threw the wild pitch that knocked Hoiles out of the game. But other than that, he pitched pretty well.

Jose Canseco greeted Williamson with a single, and Mark McGwire followed with his second home run of the game. Terry Steinbach doubled and Willie Wilson tripled to the wall in center field.

"That was impressive, wasn't it?" Williamson said. "That's the second time I've done it against these guys. I gave up the cycle, knocked out the catcher and threw a wild pitch. Very impressive."

B. Ripken ready to return

Second baseman Bill Ripken said that he is ready to return to the starting lineup whenever manager Frank Robinson wants to write his name on the card. Recovered from the sprained ring finger on his right hand, he has been taking ground balls and batting practice in pre-game workouts, but Tim Hulett has started the past three games.

Tuesday night in review

Oakland DH Harold Baines hit three home runs and had seven RBI as the Athletics hammered the Orioles, 11-3, Tuesday night at the Oakland Coliseum.

Baines set an Oakland record with 14 total bases with a 4-for-4 performance that also included an RBI double. It was the third time in his career that he has hit three homers in a game, but the seven RBI constituted a career high.

It was only the second time an Oakland player has hit three homers at the Coliseum. Reggie Jackson hit three in a game on July 3, 1969, against the Seattle Pilots.

Oakland right-hander Mike Moore has pitched better games, but his seven-inning, eight-hit performance was good enough to improve his record to 5-0. He struck out five and walked four before giving way to relievers Eric Show and John Briscoe.

Orioles starter Ben McDonald (1-2) suffered through another rocky start, giving up six runs in two-plus innings, raising his ERA to 8.80. He was followed to the mound by three erstwhile Orioles starters -- Dave Johnson, Jeff Robinson and Bob Milacki.

McDonald, Johnson and Robinson each gave up a home run to Baines. Cal Ripken and Hulett went deep for the Orioles.


Orioles opponents have batted around in an inning in 3 of the past 5 games. Strangely enough, it didn't happen in Tuesday's 11-3 loss, the biggest offensive barrage by the opposition over that span.

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