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Gomez set for MRI on ailing wrist


Orioles third baseman Leo Gomez will undergo further examination today to determine the cause of stiffness and swelling in his left wrist.

Gomez, who has been on the disabled list for the past week, said yesterday that the raised area on his wrist has not improved. It earlier was described as a cyst, but doctors will take a closer look at it today.

"It's worse than ever," Gomez said yesterday, while most of his teammates were working out in preparation for a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins that begins tonight at Camden Yards. "I'm going to have an MRI [magnetic resonance imaging] on it tomorrow."

Gomez is hoping he will be back in the starting lineup soon, but he admits he is troubled by the lack of progress he has made since he was forced off the active roster.

"Sure, I'm concerned," he said. "There are only 2 1/2 months left in the season, so I want to find out what's wrong and get it taken care of right away so I can get back."

In the meantime, manager Johnny Oates will continue to use utility men Mark McLemore and Tim Hulett at third base.

Pitching change

Since right-hander Mike Mussina did not pitch in the All-Star Game, Oates has moved him up in the rotation for the weekend series. He originally was scheduled to face the Twins on Saturday, but has traded places with Rick Sutcliffe.

Cito Gaston's decision not to use Mussina in the All-Star Game may have raised a furor in Baltimore, but Sutcliffe says the Toronto Blue Jays manager did the Orioles a favor.

"He gave us a chance to use our best pitcher sooner," Sutcliffe said. "I feel that the more times you can run Mike out there for us, the better off we're going to be."

Sutcliffe was not offended by the change of plans. He threw on the side yesterday and will work Saturday with more than a week's rest.

Workout brief

The Orioles worked out briefly in the late-afternoon heat, as hitters took batting practice and some pitchers worked in the bullpen. Oates and shortstop Cal Ripken did not attend -- Oates gave the club's two All-Stars the day off -- but Mussina showed up to throw.

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