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Even with knee, Hammonds can run from surgery


OAKLAND, Calif. -- If you want to see just how fast Orioles rookie outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds can run, mention the word surgery.

He could run from that word no matter the condition of his right knee. Off-season surgery is possible, a reality to which he is not ignorant.

"That's one of those things I try not to even think about," Hammonds said. "I don't need to be thinking about no surgery now. That's one of those things I'll worry about if it happens."

Hammonds' knee has not fully recovered since he returned from the disabled list June 16.

Hammonds clings to the faint hope the condition of his knee will not be an issue by season's end.

"Who knows? It might be all better by then," said Hammonds, who has worn four different braces since injuring the knee May 7. "I doubt it, but it might be."

Hammonds returned to the lineup yesterday -- going 1-for-4 with three strikeouts -- playing for the first time since Friday. But that doesn't mean his knee is all better.

Anderson streak ends

Center fielder Brady Anderson, ejected by plate umpire John Hirschbeck for arguing a called strike in the eighth inning, went 0-for-3, ending his second 13-game hitting streak of the season.

Anderson hit .429 with 15 runs, nine extra-base hits, 14 RBIs and eight stolen bases during the streak.

Mike Devereaux replaced him with a 1-1 count and doubled to left in his first at-bat since trying a new open stance that has him standing closer to the plate.

Orioles to face lefty

The Oakland Athletics recalled left-hander Mike Mohler from Triple-A Tacoma to make tonight's start against Mike Mussina.

Mohler made 42 appearances and nine starts for the A's last season, before undergoing shoulder surgery. He started the season on an injury rehabilitation assignment at Single-A and recently was promoted to Tacoma.

Mohler went 1-6 with a 5.60 ERA for the A's last season.

Oquist still fifth starter

Mike Oquist, who is 1-2 with an 8.02 ERA as a starter, has not pitched his way out of many jams lately, but he hasn't pitched his way out of the rotation, said Orioles manager Johnny Oates.

Oquist is scheduled to start the night game of Tuesday's day-night doubleheader at Camden Yards against the Cleveland Indians. Ben McDonald, if he recovers from a cramp in his forearm as expected, will pitch the first game.

All other factors being equal, Oates likes to start the better pitcher in the opener of a doubleheader.

"You like to win the first game because it picks you up mentally for the second game," Oates said.

McLemore hurting

Orioles second baseman Mark McLemore did not start because of a sore little toe on his right foot, but he entered the game in the ninth inning as a pinch runner for Harold Baines. McLemore said he didn't know how he injured the toe.

"It feels a lot better today than it did yesterday," he said, "and it feels better now than it did this morning, so I should be OK."

McLemore likely will get to rest his toe today because the Orioles are facing a left-hander. A switch-hitter, McLemore is batting .200 against left-handers and .274 against right-handers.

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