ARLINGTON, Texas -- John Oates left no doubt he was doing more than just inserting another name in the Orioles' lineup.
Glenn Davis made his first appearance in almost four months, going 1-for-3 with a walk while serving as the designated hitter last night. Oates does not think this is the beginning of a spring training-type program for the righthanded slugger.
"Health-wise he is 100 percent," Oates said. "Bat-wise, his timing may be off a little, but I really believe he'll produce some offensive numbers. For him and for the ballclub, this could be a little evaluation period," said Oates. "We really haven't seen that much of him.
"He can be a free agent [at the end of the year] and we're going to make an effort to sign him. We'd like to know what we're trying to sign.
"It would be nice to see him go out and hit 10 or 12 home runs in these last seven weeks," said Oates. "It was good to see him get a knock [base hit] and a walk in his first game back."
For Davis, the return was something special for a different reason. "I'll always remember Aug. 19," he said. "It will be a special day in my life just because I was able to go out and play after what I've been through.
"The most satisfaction I had was just being able to play the game -- to enjoy the competition and the challenge. I wish we could have won the game, but I was pleased with my performance," said Davis.
"I felt I was in control, and after not playing for almost four months, it was a good feeling."
* SMITH TO ROCHESTER: Oates opted to drop Roy Smith to make room on the roster for Davis. The move temporarily leaves him with only nine pitchers, but has no effect on the bullpen.
Lefthander Arthur Rhodes, who will start tomorrow night against the Rangers, has already joined the Orioles. Another player will have to be dropped to make room for him.
Indications are that the Orioles will send one of their players who have options left to Rochester for 10 days, then recall him when rosters expand to 40 on Sept. 1. Brady Anderson and David Segui both fit into that category.
There is virtually no chance that the Orioles will clear a spot by making a trade. And Oates said there were no injuries that he knew of that would warrant somebody going on the disabled list to open up a spot for Rhodes. Smith was outrighted to Rochester yesterday and at the same time the Orioles announced that Jose Bautista had cleared waivers and had also accepted an assignment to the Triple A team.
The Red Wings now have four pitchers on their staff who started the season with the Orioles. When Rhodes is activated tomorrow he will become the fifth member of the Orioles' 10-man staff who started the season in the minor leagues.
* IS JOE D GETTING NERVOUS? Jolting Joe Orsulak extended his career-high hitting streak to 17 games with a third-inning single last night. It's the longest hitting streak by an Oriole since Cal Ripken had one of identical length in 1986.
The club record is 22, held by Eddie Murray (1982) and Doug DeCinces (1978-79). Reportedly, Joe DiMaggio hasn't noticed yet.
* THIS 'N THAT: When Ruben Sierra (17) and Kevin Reimer (12) connected last night, it marked the 13th straight game in which the Rangers have hit at least one home run. The streak ties a club record.
Nolan Ryan ran his list of career strikeout victims to 1,140 by fanning Chito Martinez and Leo Gomez in the second inning last night. If you're keeping track, Chito is the seventh Martinez to make Ryan's K list.
The Rangers are 3-7 against the Orioles, with Ryan owning all three wins. Righthander Terry Mathews pitched the final four innings last night for his first save of the year.