TONIGHT: Back spasm expected to keep Davis out of Red Sox series


It does not appear as though Glenn Davis will appear in either of the Orioles' last two games of this abbreviated homestand against the Boston Red Sox.

"I doubt it," manager John Oates said when asked if Davis would face lefthander Tom Bolton (8-8, 4.88) in the second game of the series tonight (7:35, HTS).

"He's on a day-to-day basis," said Oates, "but he's not doing too well right now. He's got a spasm in the back."

The problem is not related to the injury in the neck and shoulder that sidelined Davis for almost four months earlier in the season. The first baseman, who Oates said has been playing with an "assortment of bumps and bruises," has missed the last three games.

In tonight's game, Dave Johnson (4-6, 7.34) will try to atone for a poor performance in Boston last week. This will be only the second start in three weeks for the righthander.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox will be hoping to break a two-game losing streak and narrow the 1 1/2 -game deficit between them and the division-leading Toronto Blue Jays.

With seven wins in 11 meetings between the two teams, the Orioles already have clinched the season series against the Red Sox for the first time since 1983. They will be looking for their fourth win in five games against the Red Sox at Memorial Stadium this season.

When the series and the next-to-last homestand in Memorial Stadium's baseball history concludes tomorrow night, Roger Clemens (17-8, 2.43) is scheduled to pitch against Bob Milacki (10-8, 3.83).

Tonight's crowd is expected to push the Orioles past last season's 2,415,189 attendance total, the second highest in club history. The record of 2,535,208 set in 1989 will fall during the final weekend of the season, Oct. 4-6.

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