Sore wrist hands Gomez a spot on...


Sore wrist hands Gomez a spot on DL

Orioles third baseman Leo Gomez was placed on the 15-day %% disabled list yesterday with tendinitis and a cyst on his left wrist.

Gomez, who had been in a deep slump, received an unspecified injection last night, and isn't expected to be able to swing a bat for a week.

"It's from overuse," said trainer Jamie Reed. "It's typical tendinitis, like a pitcher's. It became inflamed. It's not a serious case, but it's enough to bother his swing."

The news that Gomez was playing hurt came as a surprise to Orioles manager Johnny Oates.

"The first I knew about it was this afternoon," said Oates. "He didn't say how he did it."

Gomez, who was unavailable for comment, ended an 0-for-29 slump Wednesday night in Kansas City with a single, but had just 10 hits in his past 101 at-bats over 30 games, as his batting average plummeted from .275 to .201 during that span.

The kid is all right

Those giant sighs of relief you heard coming from Kansas City the other night were from Oates and pitcher Mike Mussina.

Mussina, who earned his 10th win of the year Wednesday, allowing just four hits and one run in seven innings, appears to have satisfiedhimself that his pitching troubles are behind him.

"I felt much better going out there," said Mussina, who had been belted in his previous start after missing the one before that with biceps tendinitis. "I was able to throw free and easy. It was a mental relief as much as anything."

Oates said: "I was hoping for my own well being and Mike's that he would have a good outing. Now, he can go into the All-Star Game with a positive mental approach."

Mussina proclaimed himself physically fit before Friday's start in Chicago, but the White Sox touched him for eight hits and seven runs in 3 2/3 innings in the Orioles' 12-1 loss.

"I thought I had pretty good stuff, but it didn't work out," said Mussina. "My question after cutting loose then was could I cut loose again?"

That question was answered early, and Mussina got an answer from fellow starter Rick Sutcliffe, who flew back to Baltimore early to prepare for last night's start.

"Sutcliffe called me in the dugout and he said, 'You have that look about you that we haven't seen for a while.' I appreciated that," said Mussina.

Mike the decorator

Mussina was none too thrilled with the long red, white and blue streamers adorning the warehouse in preparation for next week's All-Star Game.

"When people come here for the first time, the first thing they look at is that warehouse and they've covered it up with those ugly banners," said Mussina. "You watch. Now that I've said that, I'll never make the All-Star team."

Hoiles' homers

With his two home runs Wednesday night in Kansas City, Chris Hoiles briefly tied for the major-league leadership among catchers with 16. The Chicago Cubs' Rick Wilkins hit his 17th yesterday.

Detroit's Mickey Tettleton is tied with the Giants' Barry Bonds for the overall major-league home run lead with 24, but only seven have come as a catcher.

Nothing but the best

Last night's game was the 11th straight the Orioles have played against a team either in or tied for first place. They also are winding up a stretch of 20 straight games against teams above .500.


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