Dave Johnson not ready to throw off mound yet


BOSTON -- Dave Johnson is eligible to come off the disabled list tomorrow, but the righthander has a long way to go before returning to the active list. When he tried to throw off a mound for the first time over the weekend, Johnson suffered a relapse of the groin injury that sidelined him.

"He had to shut it down about halfway through [the workout]," said manager John Oates, "so we're back to square one. The groin muscle gave him pain when he tried to push off."

The doctors have told Johnson he can do anything that doesn't hurt, but at the moment that doesn't include throwing from a mound. It could be another week before Johnson tries again. When he is deemed fit to return, he most likely will require a rehabilitation assignment.

* SAVING SITUATIONS: For the second time in the weekend series, ninth-inning home runs transferred possible saves for Gregg Olson to other members of the bullpen.

Sam Horn's three-run blast Thursday night allowed Mike Flanagan to stay in the game and record his first save since 1977. Yesterday Horn and Randy Milligan went deep against reliever Jeff Reardon in the ninth and Mark Williamson stayed in the game to get his second save of the year. In both cases, Olson was ready to pitch the final inning, but the home runs took the games out of the critical stage.

* THIS 'N THAT: In Saturday's 3-1 win over the Red Sox, Kevin Hickey picked up his first win since May 4, 1990, at Seattle, by retiring the only hitter (Mike Greenwell) he faced and David Segui had the first three-hit game of his career.

Of the 12 hitters Todd Frohwirth has faced since joining the Orioles, the only one who has reached base did so via a strikeout and passed ball.

Cal Ripken, who had one hit in each of the first three against the Red Sox and two yesterday, has hit safely in 16 of the last 17 games. He has struck out only 12 times in 183 at-bats.

Mike Devereaux extended his hitting streak to nine games with an eighth-inning single off Roger Clemens (he was 0-for-13 previously against The Rocket). And Milligan ran his streak to six games with his ninth-inning homer off Reardon, the first baseman's fourth of the year.

After his pinch-hit, three-run homer in the ninth inning Thursday night, Horn went 0-for-9 before hitting the first of back-to-back homers off Reardon. When Milligan followed, it marked the third time the Orioles had back-to-back homers this year and the second time the Red Sox had given up successive shots.

The Red Sox beat the deadline by a few hours when they announced yesterday they had signed righthander Frankie Rodriguez, their No. 1 draft choice last June. At midnight last night Rodriguez would have gone into the pool for this year's draft, which begins today.

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