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Twins' bats are far from disabled as Williamson makes his 15-day return


MINNEAPOLIS -- Reliever Mark Williamson returned from the 15-day disabled list yesterday, but he probably wishes he had taken one more day off.

Williamson came on in relief in the seventh inning and gave up three runs, including a two-run homer to pinch hitter Paul Sorrento.

The inning started inauspiciously. Third baseman Scott Leius reached base on a third-strike wild pitch and Gene Larkin lined a double down the left-field line, before pinch hitter Al Newman brought home a run with a sacrifice fly.

Sorrento, who was recalled from the Class AAA Portland Beavers on Saturday, pinch hit for Dan Gladden and sliced a long fly ball into the right-center field bleachers. The game already was out of hand at that point. Williamson was just getting some work in his first appearance since he strained a muscle in his rib cage Aug. 13.

Anderson back

As expected, the Orioles called up Brady Anderson from the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings. The club may call up a couple of other players after the Class AAA season is over this week.

The Orioles are not saying how they'll handle the Luis Mercedes disciplinary situation, but it seems likely he'll be recalled.

Club officials apparently want to meet with Mercedes first to talk about the incident that prompted league officials to suspend him for the remainder of the season.

It is the second time this season that Mercedes has been suspended. The first time, he was sent home by the club for insubordination. This time, he was suspended by the league for throwing his batting helmet and injuring an opposing player.

"I'll respect the front office's decision on that," manager John Oates said. "If they bring him here, that's fine. If they decide not to bring him here, that's fine, too. Whatever they feel is the best way to handle the situation."

Umpire battle

The umpiring crew working the series engaged in a loud and angry argument among themselves after Saturday night's game -- loud enough that the Orioles coaches and players could hear every word through the cinder-block wall that separates the umpires' dressing room from the visiting clubhouse. The umpires were closed-mouthed about the incident, which apparently was related to a difference of opinion on the field.

Fifth first

When rookie Chuck Knoblauch hit his first major-league home run Saturday night, he was the fifth player since the All-Star break to hit his first home run against the Orioles. The others were Ozzie Guillen (Aug. 10), Darryl Hamilton (Aug. 8), Dave Gallagher (July 26) and Luis Polonia (July 23).

Orsulak's August performance

Left fielder Joe Orsulak batted .384 last month to register the second-highest average in the league for August. The leader was Milwaukee Brewers infielder Bill Spiers, who batted .386.

No deal

Mike Flanagan and Dwight Evans had to sweat out the trading deadline Saturday night, but they're still around.

There were rumors that both might be traded to the Twins, but Flanagan apparently was not discussed. Evans was the hot topic, but the Twins could not justify giving up a solid prospect for a player who didn't figure to make an impact until the playoffs.

The Orioles weren't interested in the minor-league prospect offered by the Twins, even though they could have saved about $120,000 in salary by moving Evans.

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