Pulled muscle KO's Devereaux

Consistent with his pattern for the season, Orioles center fielder Mike Devereaux started to break out of a slump and went down with an injury last night.

Devereaux left last night's 8-4 victory in the fifth inning, after he pulled his right hamstring muscle attempting to score on a fly ball to short center field.


He said he felt the muscle pull about halfway down the line, before he was tagged out by Yankees catcher Jim Leyritz.

Will the injury land Devereaux on the disabled list?


"I'll know more [today]," he said.

Devereaux said this injury felt worse than the groin strain that sidelined him for five games earlier this season.

Top pick Davis signs

The Orioles signed Tommy Davis, their top pick in the 1994 amateur draft, and will assign him to Albany, Ga., of the Single-A South Atlantic League.

Davis, a first baseman in his last season at Southern Mississippi, will be used at third base.

A right-handed hitter, he batted .409 with 19 home runs and 82 RBIs in 61 games this season. He was chosen with the 54th pick of the draft. The Orioles lost their first-round pick as compensation for signing free agent Sid Fernandez.

"I would hope he would get up here around the end of '96," Orioles scouting director Gary Nickels said.

The Orioles have signed 21 of their 43 selections in the June draft.


All but one of the Orioles' No. 1 draft choices since 1988 (Jay Powell, 1993) has made it to the big leagues with the Orioles. Gregg Olson, Ben McDonald, Mike Mussina, Mark Smith and Jeffrey Hammonds are the others.

Outfield alignment

Orioles manager Johnny Oates says when Dwight Smith and Brady Anderson are both in the lineup, Smith will play left field hTC and Anderson will be in center.

This will be an interesting development to watch considering the Chicago Cubs and California Angels, Smith's previous employers, were happier with the way Smith fielded when in center than in left.

There is no question that Anderson can play center field, however. In his first inning in center last night after Devereaux was injured, Anderson made a diving catch.

Meanwhile, former Orioles second baseman Harold Reynolds, a teammate of Smith's with the Angels, said of Baltimore: "He'll love it. It's the only place to play. No place compares to it. It ain't the same environment. Believe me."


Gomez enlists big-league help

The Leo Gomez Baseball Festival, scheduled for July 9 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at the BWI Marriott Hotel, will raise funds for the Spanish Christian Outreach Project.

Among those scheduled to sign autographs at the $2 admission festival are the Orioles' Mussina, Hammonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Harold Baines, Lonnie Smith and Alan Mills, as well as the Oakland Athletics' Ruben Sierra.

"I know where I came from and I know where I am now," said Gomez, a native of Puerto Rico. "I know how much God has helped me and I want to help the Spanish people in Baltimore."

The Orioles held a news conference to announce the event and to introduce Dwight Smith.

Gomez, hitting .320, was asked how many reporters would have attended the news conference last season, when he hit .197 and battled injuries.


B6 "About three," Gomez said. "Me, my wife, our son."


Hammonds went 1-for-4 in a four-inning scrimmage in Sarasota, Fla., and is scheduled to play five innings today. The Orioles have not scheduled an injury rehabilitation assignment for him yet, said general manager Roland Hemond, but he appears to be drawing close. . . . Last night's five-run eighth inning marked the first time this season the Orioles have come from behind at home in the eighth inning or later. . . . Chris Sabo's two-run homer in the second tied the game, continuing a trend, as each of his four homers have tied a game or given the Orioles the lead. . . . Anderson's first-inning single was the 21st time he has reached safely (15 hits, six walks) to start a game, for a .339 percentage through 62 contests. . . . Palmeiro's eighth-inning single extended his hitting streak to 16 games and raised his June batting average to .426 (23-for-54).

Quote of the day

"Oh? What did he do with it?" -- Oates, when informed Fernandez stole a base during his National League career.