Joe Orsulak's jammed left thumb took a turn for the worse yesterday, and the Orioles will wait several more days before deciding whether or not they need to place him on the disabled list.
"He's taken a step backward," said manager Johnny Oates. "He's not feeling too chipper today. The doctors said it probably would be three or four days before we can make a determination."
Orsulak injured the thumb while attempting to make a diving catch of Wally Joyner's triple Saturday in Kansas City.
"He could catch the ball, but he'd have to punt it in," said Oates. "He probably can't hit because he can't get his hand on the bat."
Last night's game was the fourth in a row that Orsulak hasn't started. In his past 27 games, he has a .330 batting average and leads the team at .307.
If game conditions dictate the need for a fifth outfielder, Oates said the choice would be Mark McLemore.
"He can go catch the ball," said the manager.
Williamson decision due
The Orioles have to make a decision by midnight today on pitcher Mark Williamson, who is completing his rehabilitation assignment with the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings.
Williamson has options to the minors left, but, as a five-year major-league veteran, could refuse to report.
"We could leave him on the disabled list," said Oates, "but we can't leave him down there pitching."
Williamson has pitched 3 1/3 innings in three games for the Red Wings, allowing two hits and no runs.
"He's throwing OK," said Oates. "There's some stiffness, but nothing out of the ordinary."
Routine team meeting
The Orioles held a 10-minute meeting before last night's game that Oates labeled "no big deal.
"We're all in this thing together. Sometimes you have to get together and talk so everyone is on the same page."
Devereaux mystery to Fleming
Seattle's Dave Fleming might have the Orioles' number, but )) he has yet to dial correctly against Mike Devereaux.
In their two meetings, Devereaux is 4-for-7 with four RBI and a walk against the Mariners rookie.
"It's just one of those things," said Devereaux, who showed Fleming isn't alone by homering off Mark Grant in the first inning last night.
Let the others play on
Oates said the Orioles have to mind their store and not worry about the Toronto-Milwaukee series.
"I just want us to win," he said. "If we lose, it doesn't make any difference what happens out there."
An Orioles victory means they would gain on at least one of those teams.
Brady Anderson became the most productive leadoff man in club history last night when he drove in his 67th run in the fourth inning. That broke the record of 66 set by Don Buford in 1970. Anderson went on to knock home two more runs to add to his record. . . . Orioles coaches Dick Bosman, Davey Lopes, Elrod Hendricks and Greg Biagini will conduct a free clinic Saturday at Dallastown Community Park in York, Pa., from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It is for children age 6 to 12. . . . Rick Sutcliffe leads the American League in pitches thrown (2,902). . . . Mike Mussina is third in the league in fewest runners allowed per nine innings and opposing batting average.