Oates tries to recharge mentally weary Segui with some time off BASEBALL


CLEVELAND -- First baseman David Segui was not in the starting lineup last night, but he showed up just in time to give the Orioles a big lift with a game-winning bloop single in the ninth inning.

The tie-breaking hit carried the Orioles to a 7-6 victory, but Segui wasn't getting carried away. It was his first hit in 16 at-bats.

"I got lucky that it fell in the spot that it did," he said. "I wasn't real happy with the at-bat, but I was happy with the way it turned out."

Not much has been turning out right for him lately. He has slumped throughout the road trip, enough so that manager Johnny Oates tried to give him the night off last night and may hold him out of the starting lineup again tonight.

He certainly isn't the only Orioles player who has not been productive lately, but Oates singled him out because he looked like he might benefit from a chance to get recharged.

"He's down," Oates said, "so we'll give him a night or two off or maybe three. I want to get him going for those last 10 games."

Oates met with Segui at the team hotel late Monday night to

discuss the situation. He came away with the impression that the young first baseman was mentally fatigued.

"It's one thing to struggle physically and another to struggle mentally," Oates said. "He came out for early batting practice, hit for 10 minutes and just walked out of the cage. He's in that frame of mind that 'I can't even hit batting practice.' "

Segui came back out during the pre-game workout and worked at the batting tee for 40 minutes, but that didn't go particularly well either. He admitted after the game that the frustration has been hard to bear.

"I'm ticked off," he said. "I want to do my job. Any time you're not swinging the bat well, it's frustrating. Everybody has a streak like this, but this is a bad time of the year for that. This is the part of the season when you need to turn it on."

Angelos deal on hold

The pending sale of the Orioles to a Baltimore group led by lawyer Peter G. Angelos apparently won't be completed this week, as first planned. Owners now are expected to vote in early October, meaning that Eli S. Jacobs would remain as Orioles owner through the end of the season, according to sources familiar with the sale.

Devereaux back in lineup

Center fielder Mike Devereaux, who was held out of the starting lineup on Monday night with a bruised heel, was back in the third spot in the order for last night's game.

"It still hurts," Devereaux said, "but I can play with it. I don't run on my heels anyway. The problem is when I try to stop."

In his first at-bat, he bounced a single through the middle to drive in Brady Anderson with the first run. It was his only hit in a 1-for-5 night.

Swift justice

The fan who ran onto the field Monday night at Cleveland Stadium received a fine and a jail sentence yesterday. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine. Most of the jail time was suspended (25 days), but he also was ordered to perform community service and serve a probationary period.

Mussina's status uncertain

Mike Mussina said he has not been told to give up on the rest of the season, but he isn't sure if he'll pitch in a game again this year. "I haven't been told anything," he said.

Hoiles' hot hand

Chris Hoiles can set club records for batting average, home runs and RBI by a full-time catcher if he swings a hot bat for the final 11 games. He needs five home runs and four RBI to pass Gus Triandos (30 HR, 78 RBI) for club marks in those two departments and appears, at .313, after going 2-for-5 last night, to be a lock to be the first full-time Orioles catcher (100 games or more) to bat .300 or better.

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