Baines expected to play against 1st-place Tigers


CLEVELAND -- Harold Baines, who has missed the past two games, is expected to return to the Orioles' lineup tomorrow night.

The veteran designated hitter returned to Baltimore on Saturday to have his left knee examined and missed the final two games of the series against the Cleveland Indians.

"There wasn't enough fluid to drain," said manager Johnny Oates, "so they gave him a shot [of cortisone] and he'll be ready to play Tuesday."

Baines has had trouble with his knees throughout his career, and in recent years usually has had them drained three or four times a season. He underwent the procedure once in spring training.

Baines is hitting .299 and has played a prominent role in the Orioles' resurgence since coming off the disabled list (strained rib cage muscle) May 27. He and Mike Devereaux (separated shoulder) returned to the lineup the same day and the Orioles are 16-7 since then.

Hoiles stops a slump

Catcher Chris Hoiles, hitless in his previous 17 at-bats, came out of the slump in a big way yesterday. He hit his ninth home run in the second inning and added a double and a single.

His offensive performance was one of note in an otherwise sloppy game -- and series.

"That's a sign of good things to come, if this team can play like we did and win two of three," Hoiles said.

Taking a breather

The Orioles will have their second day off in the past five today, and Oates said the mini-break comes at a good time.

"Usually, you like to have them spread out a little bit more, but we play 20 in a row going into the [All-Star] break, so it works out well," said Oates. "It gives guys like Brady [Anderson] and Junior [Cal Ripken] a little break and gives the bullpen a chance to regroup."

Several of the Orioles will take advantage of today's break to play in pitching coach Dick Bosman's charity golf tournament. The event, which benefits the Maryland Special Olympics, will be played this afternoon at the Towson Golf and Country Club.

Pulling off the road

The trip completed by the Orioles yesterday was the second of three 10-game jaunts this year. They went 5-5 on the first (May 24 to June 2 to New York, Anaheim, Calif., and Oakland). Their last 10-gamer is to Detroit, New York and Seattle, Aug. 9-18.

The Orioles did not have a trip as long as 10 games in either of the past two seasons. In club history there have been 93 trips of at least 10 games, the longest a pair of 22-game excursions in 1956 and 1957.

Cheering for Janzen

There was more than a little interest yesterday in the Orioles clubhouse during the final round of the U.S. Open.

After helping secure the 6-3 win over the Indians, reliever Mark Williamson was able to see his friend, Lee Janzen, win his first major golf event.

"A good day for all of us," said Williamson, who met Janzen through mutual friends a few years ago. Janzen, who spent several years of his childhood in Westminster, is a big Orioles fan.

Janzen passed up a practice round the week of the Masters to attend Opening Day at Camden Yards. And last month he put on a uniform and worked out with the club while he was in Maryland for the Kemper Open.

Drawing a crowd

Yesterday's crowd of 37,605 brought the total for the three-game series between the Indians and Orioles to 111,818. It is the largest attendance for a series this year for the Indians, surpassing the 99,636 who saw the opening three games against the Yankees.

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