Gomez to have wrist surgery, but might be back in 3 to 4 weeks


Leo Gomez will have surgery to repair his damaged left wrist either tomorrow or Friday.

The decision was made yesterday after consultation with Dr. Hugh Baugher, who will perform the operation. It won't be known until after surgery how long Gomez will be out, but an optimistic estimate is three to four weeks.

Gomez has been on the disabled list since July 8 with what had been described as tendinitis. Further examination revealed a cyst, which will be removed during the operation.

"When I talked to Leo [yesterday], he said he didn't feel any better," said manager Johnny Oates, shortly before the decision was made.

Gomez had his medication for the injury changed on Sunday. It had been determined that if there wasn't improvement within 48 hours, surgery probably would be necessary.

At the time he was disabled, Gomez was in the throes of an 11-for-100 slump (.110) and had hit only one of his 10 home runs in his last 23 games.

Anderson injury just scare

When Brady Anderson fell in left field while chasing down a double by Kevin McReynolds in the seventh inning of Monday night's win over Kansas City, he appeared to have injured his knee seriously.

As it turned out, the only damage was self-inflicted. "I twisted my hip a little bit and spiked myself in the knee," Anderson said before last night's game.

He fell shortly after a 2 1/2 -hour rain delay, but the conditions had minimal effect. "He wasn't on the [injury] treatment sheet," Oates replied when asked if Anderson had any aftereffects.

Rain delay recap

For those wondering why Monday night's game was not called in the sixth inning, when the Orioles led 6-1, there were several explanations.

Both the Royals and Orioles are in contention for division titles and the accepted rule is to play nine innings if at all possible. As it turned out, it was possible and the final score, 6-5, is indication enough of the desire to play games to completion.

There was another underlying factor that plate umpire and crew chief Durwood Merrill had to take into consideration. While covering the field for the second time (the game had been delayed 25 minutes two innings earlier), the grounds crew was unable to get the tarpaulin completely in place.

Both the home-plate area and third-base line were left exposed to the torrential rain for a prolonged period. For the game to be called because those areas were unplayable would have been an injustice to the Royals, who were understandably upset by the situation.

In addition, not making every effort to restore the field to playing conditions would have set a precedent.

Rhodes strikes out 10

Arthur Rhodes struck out 10 Norfolk Tides in 5 1/3 innings last night in the left-hander's best performance of his rehabilitation assignment with the Rochester Red Wings.

Rhodes struck out seven of the first 10 Tides.

The most strikeouts by a Wings pitcher this year is 11, by John O'Donoghue in seven innings against the Ottawa Lynx.

Rhodes threw 95 pitches of his allotted 105 pitches, 69 for strikes. He started 17 of the 21 Tides he faced with a strike. He fell behind only four batters, walking two.

Orioles assistant general manager Frank Robinson watched from box seat four rows from the field.

Rhodes gave up three hits, including a home run to Ryan Thompson on a 2-2 pitch in the fourth inning. He left with a 2-1 lead, and lowered his ERA to 4.11.

Rhodes' 30-day rehabilitation began July 4. He could make two more starts before the Orioles have to bring him back or option him.

Hall of Fame luncheon set

The annual Orioles Hall of Fame Luncheon will be held at the Stouffer Harborplace Hotel, Aug. 6 at noon. Hosted by the Oriole lTC Advocates Inc., the luncheon will honor this year's Hall of Fame inductee, Don Buford.

WBAL's Jim West will serve as the master of ceremonies, and Earl Weaver, Frank Robinson, Curt Motton, Dick Hall, Larry Lucchino, Roland Hemond and Doug Melvin are among those expected to attend.

Buford played for the Orioles from 1968 to 1972 and is the manager of the Bowie Baysox, the organization's Double-A farm team playing this year at Memorial Stadium. He will be inducted formally into the Orioles Hall of Fame in pre-game ceremonies at Camden Yards Aug. 8.

Tickets are $28 apiece and $280 for a table of 10, with proceeds going to the Advocates Charities, benefiting youth athletic programs.

Running on empty

Fernando Valenzuela has a 0.76 ERA (two earned runs in 23 2/3 innings) during July, lowest among American League starters. In June, Ben McDonald's 1.53 ERA was best in the AL.

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