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Roster shuffle shifts to high gear


The Orioles lost two-fifths of their starting pitching rotation last night when Kevin Brown and Ben McDonald were placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Brown suffered a dislocation of the first joint of his right index finger last night reaching for a liner with his bare hand. McDonald has a lingering inflamed tendon in his pitching shoulder.

McDonald was placed on the DL retroactive to June 16 and is eligible to be activated July 2.

To replace Brown and McDonald, the Orioles recalled right-handed reliever Armando Benitez from Triple-A Rochester and purchased the contract of Rochester right-handed reliever Jimmy Myers.

Going into last night's game, Benitez had pitched 8 2/3 innings, allowing one hit, no runs and two walks, with 15 strikeouts. Myers had pitched in 28 games (30 innings), allowing 30 hits and eight walks, with 20 strikeouts and a 1.50 ERA.

McDonald says he's been hurting for his past three or four starts, and had a magnetic resonance imaging scan and a cortisone shot to the back of his shoulder on Monday.

Some Orioles agreed the loss of Brown and McDonald would be felt.

"Kevin Brown has pitched very solid," said right fielder Jeffrey Hammonds, "and Ben, he's one of our big starters. That's just something we'll have to overcome. It's very unfortunate that this has to happen right now."

Third baseman Jeff Manto: "It's a big impact. That's two of our horses that we were going into the season depending on. To have that hit us, we are going to have to have somebody step up now. There's no more messing around. We need somebody to come up here and step up."

Orioles manager Phil Regan said Scott Klingenbeck likely will pitch tomorrow and Arthur Rhodes on Sunday.

Whiten's woes

When Boston traded All-Star third baseman Scott Cooper for Mark Whiten in April, the Red Sox figured Whiten would lord over the canyon that is right field in Fenway Park, and bat fifth, behind Jose Canseco.

But he's been much less than that, hitting just .185 with only one homer and eight RBI. The Red Sox demoted him to Triple-A Pawtucket after last night's game, and recalled outfielder Matt Stairs.

Boston also optioned right-handed reliever Joseph Hudson to Double-A Trenton. With the Red Sox, Hudson had no decisions and a 6.35 ERA in five appearances.

Right-hander Frankie Rodriguez was recalled from Pawtucket, where he was 1-1 with two saves and a 4.15 ERA.

Around the horn

Had there not been a strike and he remained healthy, Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken would have tied the consecutive-games record of Lou Gehrig on Wednesday night and broken it tonight (yesterday would have been a day off). . . . Pitcher John Dettmer, acquired from the Texas Rangers for outfielder Jack Voigt, cleared waivers and was outrighted to the roster of Triple-A Rochester. The Orioles' 40-man roster is now three below the limit, at 37. Dettmer is 0-3 with a 4.22 ERA for the Red Wings. . . . The Orioles signed their 37th-round pick from the amateur draft, outfielder Avery Taylor from Long Beach High (Miss.). . . . Infielder Kim Batiste, playing for Double-A Bowie, was expected to be promoted to Triple-A Rochester last night. Batiste has major-league experience with the Phillies, and if he continues to play well, he could find his way to the Orioles this summer.

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