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'Pressing' Hoiles gets few days off

THE BALTIMORE SUN

MILWAUKEE -- Greg Zaun started in place of slumping catcher Chris Hoiles last night, and Orioles manager Phil Regan said he may start Zaun again today and Friday.

"I want to give [Hoiles] a day or two off, and get his mind clear," Regan said. "I think he's pressing, because he wants to do well so badly. . . . I want to get him started."

Hoiles is hitting .176 with seven homers and 20 RBIs. He has one RBI in his past 13 games. "Like I've said, it's the worst thing I've ever been through," said Hoiles, "and at this point, I can't let it drive me crazy. I don't know what it is [the problem], or why. . . . I'm used to being the one who goes up there being the tough out, and now I'm an easy out.

"I know I'm going to get it back. It's a matter of time."

Hoiles laughed at himself, replaying an odd situation that occurred during his second at-bat Monday.

"This is my year, in a nutshell," he said. "I foul a pitch off and it hurts the other catcher [Joe Oliver, hit in the protective cup]. Then I look up and their pitcher [Angel Miranda], is hurt and he walks off. Then they bring in this big, hard-throwing right-hander [Bill Wegman], and I'm down in the count, 0-1. So I go from facing a left-hander to a tough right-hander, with one strike on me. That's the way my year's gone."

Tendinitis for McDonald

The medical report that the Orioles got on the ailing right shoulder of pitcher Ben McDonald wasn't everything they had hoped for, but it was still good news.

Dr. James Andrews told McDonald that he was suffering from tendinitis that should dissipate with treatment and rest. McDonald probably won't be able to come off the disabled list when he's eligible to do so -- Sunday -- but he could pitch sometime before the All-Star break.

Orioles general manager Roland Hemond said McDonald won't require an arthrogram, a procedure in which dye is injected into the shoulder to help identify the injury. "Ben's been encouraged," said Hemond.

Fernandez due back?

Regan said he would announce today who will pitch tomorrow's game in Toronto, because a player transaction is involved. Logic suggests the starter will be left-hander Sid Fernandez, coming off the DL.

The most likely candidates for demotion are reliever Jimmy Myers, who was called up last week and has yet to appear in a game; Scott Klingenbeck, a starting pitcher who could be the odd man out if the Orioles go with the rotation of Mike Mussina, Fernandez, Arthur Rhodes, Jamie Moyer and John DeSilva; or DeSilva, who yielded three runs in 5 1/3 innings last night. Regan indicated that DeSilva's showing would factor into his decision.

Harris to see Andrews

Injured reliever Gene Harris will have his right elbow examined by Andrews tomorrow. Hemond said no decision has been made on whether to pursue a grievance against the Philadelphia Phillies for trading Harris when they knew of his injury.

"We're still investigating the background information," Hemond said. "But nothing's transpired."

The Orioles acquired Harris for outfielder Andy Van Slyke on June 18, and a week later, Harris went on the disabled list with what some in the organization fear may be a season-ending injury that may require reconstructive surgery.

Run of outs OK with Regan

The Orioles had three runners thrown out Monday, but Regan said he was pleased with his players' aggressiveness. "I'm happy to see them taking the initiative," he said.

In the Orioles' first 31 games, they were successful in just 17 of 29 stolen-base attempts. But in the 25 games since calling up Curtis Goodwin from Triple-A Rochester on June 2, the team has swiped 24 in 31 attempts.

"Since Goodwin and [Manny] Alexander have been in the lineup," Regan said, "we've been doing more running."

Regan said six Orioles have the green light: Goodwin, Alexander, Kevin Bass, Brady Anderson, Jeffrey Hammonds and Jeff Huson.

Around the horn

Huson had his first Orioles at-bat in the ninth inning last night and produced an RBI single. . . . Third baseman Jeff Manto, on the disabled list with a left hamstring pull, says he may start taking batting practice during the next homestand. Manto may return after the All-Star break. . . . Regan said he would hold a mandatory workout the day after the All-Star Game. Orioles' All-Stars will be exempt. . . . New York Yankees manager Buck Showalter is said to be leaning toward picking Mo Vaughn and Mark McGwire as backups for first baseman Frank Thomas in the All-Star Game, which would make it difficult for him to pick Rafael Palmeiro. If Palmeiro isn't picked, it's likely the Orioles will have only one All-Star, shortstop Cal Ripken. . . . No. 1 pick Alvie Shepherd will attend today's game with his father, Alvie Shepherd Sr. . . . Goodwin has been playing with contact lenses and Regan says it has helped him judge fly balls. Goodwin had his eyes checked shortly after coming up from Rochester because he was having trouble getting jumps on balls hit to the outfield. . . . The Orioles' tryout camp, scheduled for Saturday at Prince George's Stadium in Bowie, has been canceled. Tryout camps will be held July 8 at the Ocean City Recreation Complex and July 15 at Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, W.Va., both starting at 9 a.m. Players 16 to 22 can attend.

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