Instead of starting today, A's Welch lands on DL Darling to go instead; Neel is called up


OAKLAND, Calif. -- Bob Welch went from the Oakland Athletics' starting rotation to the disabled list yesterday. The right-hander was supposed to start today's game against the Orioles, but was deactivated when his left knee didn't pass a workout Friday night.

"One pitch was all I threw," said Welch, who was forced out of his most recent start, a 1-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night. "I don't know how many [pitches] I was supposed to throw, but it only took one."

The A's were going to wait until today to see whether Welch made any progress, but decided yesterday to put him on the DL retroactive to Wednesday. Welch (2-3, 3.00 ERA) missed most of spring training and all of April with knee, back and shoulder injuries.

The A's hope Welch will be ready to return when eligible June 11, but his status is uncertain.

In Welch's place today, the A's will use Ron Darling (4-2, 4.07), who was being held back to face the Boston Red Sox, against whom he pitched a two-hit shutout in his most recent start.

To replace Welch on the roster, the A's purchased the contract of outfielder-first baseman Troy Neel, who made his major-league debut yesterday. Neel was batting .388 with seven home runs and 36 RBI in 47 games for the Triple-A Tacoma Tigers.

For the defense

Both the Orioles and A's went into yesterday's game on a defensive roll, but it didn't last long.

The Orioles, who have made fewer errors (297) than any other team in the major leagues during the past three-plus seasons, had committed only three in their past 15 games. In the second inning, left fielder Brady Anderson mishandled a single by Terry Steinbach.

The A's had been charged with only one error in their past 10 games, before things came unglued early yesterday. Neel made a throwing error the first time he touched the ball in left field, leading to an unearned run for the Orioles. Then, in the third inning, Lance Blankenship, who had not made an error all year (45 games), booted Sam Horn's grounder.

Injury report

Glenn Davis, who has started 12 (of 23) games since coming off the disabled list May 4, was not in the lineup and did not take pre-game batting practice.

Davis told manager Johnny Oates before the game that the previously injured area of his back (below the left armpit) was "numb." It was not immediately known whether Davis would be out for any length of time. He has missed two of the past three games after hitting two home runs in a 13-8 win in Seattle on Tuesday night.

Anderson, who was hit just inside the right knee by a pitch from Mike Moore on Friday night, was gimpy yesterday, but in his customary leadoff spot in the lineup. Anderson was hit while trying to bunt for a base hit -- the first time he had made such an attempt this year.

Umpires' gear reappears

For the second straight game, the umpires assigned to the Orioles-A's series worked without their uniforms and equipment.

The crew, headed by Don Denkinger and including Larry Young, Tim Tschida and John Shulock, last worked a series in Anaheim between the California Angels and Red Sox. The equipment trunks did not arrive with the umpires on Friday and were not located until late yesterday afternoon.

In place of their personal equipment, the umpires have used jackets, jerseys, pants, caps and tennis shoes supplied by the A's.


The Orioles have allowed 12 home runs in the past seven games. . . . In losing eight of their past 11 before yesterday's victory, the Orioles had pitched to an ERA of 6.63 -- raising the team ERA from a low point of 2.88 to 3.76. It rose to 3.81 after yesterday's win. . . . Leo Gomez, who had two hits yesterday, has hit in eight straight games, 16 of his past 17 and 21 of the past 23. Over the longer stretch, he is hitting .358 (29-for-81), raising his average from .241 to .309. . . . Cal Ripken has put together a nine-game hitting streak, the longest by an Oriole this year. . . . Chris Hoiles was 1-for-15 on this trip before his sixth-inning double. . . . Horn was hitless in his previous 10 at-bats (six strikeouts) before blasting his third home run of the season, also in the sixth. . . . Yesterday was only the second time (in eight starts) that the Orioles have scored more than three runs in games started by Jose Mesa.

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