Left-hander Arthur Rhodes underwent arthroscopic kne surgery yesterday at Children's Hospital and will be out of action for four to six weeks.
Orioles orthopedist Dr. Charles Silberstein removed a loosened fragment from Rhodes' left knee, but reported no ligament or cartilage damage.
Rhodes is expected to begin throwing off a mound again in about three weeks and, if all goes well, could return to the starting rotation by the end of June.
Manager Johnny Oates said yesterday that the club may wait until tomorrow to announce a roster replacement for his injured pitcher. There has been speculation that left-hander Jamie Moyer is on the way, but the final decision apparently has not been made.
The Orioles will need a starting pitcher for the final game of the four-game series against the Cleveland Indians, but could benefit from an earlier move if they intend to bring up a reliever and give Mark Williamson tomorrow's start.
Belle suspended, will appeal
Cleveland Indians outfielder Albert Belle has been suspended for three games by American League president Bobby Brown for charging the mound and initiating a brawl during a game last week against Kansas City. But he will remain available to play in the series against the Orioles until his appeal is heard.
Belle was ejected from the May 13 game after he charged Royals pitcher Hipolito Pichardo. He appealed the disciplinary action -- as is his right under the terms of baseball's basic agreement -- but that only figures to delay imposition of the suspension.
The game was delayed momentarily while the Orioles searched out Mark McLemore to take his place in right field. McLemore was a little late getting out there, and got a light-hearted ovation from the fans and first-base umpire Rich Garcia as he took the field.
Bosman on Ben
Pitching coach Dick Bosman liked what he saw in Monday night's game. Right-hander Ben McDonald gave up a big first-inning home run, but he settled down to hold the Indians scoreless into the ninth.
"I was very encouraged and I think he should be, too," said Bosman, who has been working with McDonald on mixing up his pitches and maintaining his concentration. "We talked to him about being more creative. We talked to him about throwing more sinking fastballs. He did that."
The only mistake was the pitch to Belle that disappeared into the Orioles' bullpen and accounted for all the runs scored. It was the eighth homer McDonald has allowed in his past four starts.
"It wasn't a good pitch," Bosman said, "but if that's the only one of those you throw in a game, you should be all right."
Reynolds rap session
Second baseman Harold Reynolds will join Washington Bullets forward Larry Stewart to present a forum on youth issues at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. They will meet with students and discuss drugs, staying in school, college and health concerns at 1 p.m. on Friday.
The Orioles and Indians had met seven times at Camden Yards going into last night's game. Five of those games have resulted in shutouts -- three of them by the Indians. In the seven games, the Indians have averaged 2.7 runs and the Orioles have averaged 1.6.