Uncramped Milligan sits one out anyway


ARLINGTON, Texas -- First baseman Randy Milligan apparently has recovered from his leg cramp, but he sat out last night's series finale against the Texas Rangers.

Milligan limped off the field with what manager Johnny Oates called a "heat cramp" in the eighth inning of the Orioles' 5-1 victory on Tuesday night, but he appeared to be fine after that game and took part in workouts before last night's 4-2 win.

David Segui played first base in his place, but Oates indicated the slight injury was not a major factor when he filled out the lineup card.

"He's fine," Oates said. "I just wanted to give Segui some time. Randy didn't have good numbers against [Kevin] Brown, so I tried to get a matchup. You can't play but nine guys per night."

Segui, who went 0-for-3, but did his usual fine job afield, also got the nod over Glenn Davis, apparently because of his ability to swing the bat from both sides of the plate.

* POOLE UPDATE: Lefthander Jim Poole, who threw on the side Tuesday, reported no problems yesterday, but Oates said it could be three weeks before he is ready to return to action at the major-league level.

"He could throw off the mound on Friday or Saturday in Chicago," Oates said. "He'll have to throw a couple of times like that with a day or two in between before anything else happens."

The club almost certainly will send Poole on an injury rehabilitation assignment, but it has not been determined whether he'll join the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings or pitch closer to Baltimore -- with the Single-A Frederick Keys or Double-A Hagerstown Suns.

* A SIDELINE: Mike Flanagan worked out briefly before last night's game in an attempt to get a little more mound time, and then pitched in the game, retiring the only batter he faced.

There has been concern that Flanagan, the only lefthander in the bullpen, is not getting enough innings to remain sharp. He leads the team with 15 appearances, but has totaled just nine innings. He has given up but five hits, but has complicated things with nine walks.

* WILLIAMSON UPDATE: Righthander Mark Williamson underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow Tuesday and could be throwing again in four weeks.

Dr. James Andrews, an orthopedic specialist in Birmingham, Ala., removed three bone chips and smoothed the surface of the elbow. Club officials indicated it probably will be closer to 10 weeks before Williamson can pitch competitively.

* JUST A HUNCH? Oates says he's not a hunch manager, but he said yesterday that he also isn't totally at the mercy of past performance when he fills out his lineup card. Case in point -- his decision to start Joe Orsulak, instead of Chito Martinez, in rightfield last night.

"I don't always go by the numbers," he said. "Chito is 3-for-3 against this guy [Brown], but that's no big deal. I think Joe is swinging the bat better. He's got good numbers, too."

That hunch didn't pay off as Orsulak went 0-for-4.

But Oates' second one did. He started Sam Horn over Martinez at DH and Horn had a two-run homer in the Orioles' four-run first inning.

* WHO'S ON SECOND? Oates said yesterday that he did not foresee a situation where Mark McLemore could win a full-time job at second base, though McLemore has gotten most of the playing time lately.

"Did anyone notice that Billy [Ripken] has played better in May than McLemore?" Oates said.

It's true. Ripken has batted .308 (4-for-13) during May. McLemore went 0-for-2 last night, giving him five hits in 28 at-bats this month, a .179 average.

* BRADY BUNCH: Leadoff hitter Brady Anderson opened the game with a double down the rightfield line for his 18th extra-base hit of the year. That ties his career-high, set in 1989.

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