Devereaux is getting back into the swing ahead of schedule Orioles notebook


Mike Devereaux, who suffered a slight separation in the left shoulder area three weeks ago, appears to be slightly ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation program.

The Orioles center fielder swung a bat yesterday for the first timsince being injured. He was restricted to hitting balls off a batting tee, but reported no discomfort.

"I was a little worried about [arm] extension, but it didn't botheme at all," Devereaux said. "I didn't go all out, but I know that I could have."

Charles Silberstein, the club's orthopedic specialist, said it'possible that Devereaux could return in another week.

"We'll let him hit off the batting tee again tomorrow [today] and then swing at soft tosses for another day or two," Silberstein said.

"If everything goes right he can then start to take battinpractice. After that it will be up to the club to determine if they want him to take a rehabilitation assignment."

With Harold Baines close to coming off the disabled list after rib-cage injury, the Orioles' offense could receive a needed boost before the month is over.

Ripken takes a stand

For the first time since the end of the 1990 season, Cal Ripken abandoned his crouch stance last night. After experimenting in batting practice with an upright position similar to the one he used in the early years of his career, Ripken unveiled the new look in his first at-bat.

It was during the off-season after the 1990 season that Ripkedecided to alter his stance. Hitting from a crouch position, he had the best offensive year of his career in 1992, only to follow it with his poorest numbers last season.

Last night's change didn't produce immediate results: Ripken struck out and grounded out in his first two at-bats. But in his third plate appearance, he hit his third home run of the year, his first since April 28.

Ship ahoy, Oriole

Orioles assistant general manager Frank Robinson was on an unusual assignment yesterday. He and his wife, Barbara, were in Savannah, Ga., to help christen the USS Oriole, the Navy's latest Osprey class coastal mine hunter.

All-Star details

In conjunction with city and state officials, the Orioles will hold a news conference tomorrow to announce details for All-Star week, July 8-13.

Gov. William Donald Schaefer, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, Orioles' president Larry Lucchino and sportscaster Jim McKay will participate in the conference.

Navarro knows the O's . . .

There's something about the Orioles that brings out the best in Jaime Navarro. The Milwaukee right-hander improved his career record against the Orioles to 8-1 with a complete-game seven-hitter in the Brewers' 9-3 win Friday night.

"Ever since I've been here I don't think he's ever thrown a bad game against us," Orioles manager Johnny Oates said.

The win was the second straight for Navarro, who opened the season by losing his first three decisions. It was his first complete game since last Sept. 12, when he shut out the Orioles, 5-0, at Camden Yards.

. . . and so do the Brewers

Since sweeping a three-game series in September 1990, the Orioles have lost 18 of their past 28 against the Brewers, including last night's victory.

The home runs off Mike Mussina by Kevin Reimer and John JahFriday night equaled the total hit by the Brewers in 13 games against the Orioles last year.

A month for McLemore

Mark McLemore started the month of May with one hit in his first 12 at-bats, but since May 5 he is batting at a .351 pace (26-for-74).

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