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Stomach pain forces Davis to return home Lump raises fears slugger has a hernia, or worse


NEW YORK -- The Orioles will hold their breath until today at least. Outfielder Eric Davis left the team yesterday to return to Baltimore, where he was to be examined for persistent stomach pain.

Davis returned by train for an afternoon appointment with team physician Dr. William Goldiner. He was scratched from the lineup Monday after leaving Saturday's game with "excruciating" pain in his stomach.

He had played Sunday, but was 0-for-5, and afterward he said he was troubled by the pain that sent him to a Cleveland hospital for four hours Saturday.

"It was pain, not flu," said Davis, who was sidelined earlier this season by a serious flu bug. "It was excruciating pain."

Club officials were unable to speculate on the cause of the pain. However, manager Davey Johnson said Davis exhibited a lump in his stomach.

Asked if Davis might be suffering from a hernia, a team official said, "We hope that's all it is."

Grissom to impact Anderson?

While the Orioles appear firm in their financial position toward center fielder Brady Anderson, the club may be prepared to add a fourth year to any possible extension.

Anderson's representatives would not specify what the impact might be of last week's signing by the Cleveland Indians of center fielder Marquis Grissom. However, while the average salary the club is willing to pay may not change, the length of Anderson's deal could grow.

"Any contract signings that occur between now and the end of the year obviously factor in an assessment of Brady's worth," said his agent, Jeff Borris.

Grissom last week received a contract extension that will take him through 2002. Though he was not scheduled for free agency until after next season, the Indians renegotiated the remainder of his present deal, in effect making it a five-year extension.

Having previously limited his request to a three-year extension worth between $5 million and $6 million per year, Anderson may toggle his sights on at least a four-year extension that would expire when he is 37.

While Borris refused to clarify his negotiating tack, he insisted that Anderson should be immune from the normal biases placed on outfielders his age.

"Brady is 33 and in as good a condition or better condition than any player in the major leagues," insisted Borris. "Brady at 33 is a much better athlete than he was at 23. He's the best-conditioned athlete in the major leagues. If he's not, then I'd like to know who is. What he is is a decathlete playing baseball. He's played through injuries; he plays when he's hurt. There's no question regarding his durability. I don't think his age should be any factor."

Perhaps more relevant is Anderson's performance. When the season opened, the Orioles were negotiating with a player coming off a 50-home run season. Currently, Anderson is on pace for 17 homers while batting .335, powerful offensive numbers but not as closely associated with a dominant power hitter.

One club official classified Grissom's five-year, $25 million extension as "asinine." Anderson is thought to be seeking about $5.67 million a season while the club has drawn its three-year line short of $16 million.

The difference is not considered significant enough to prevent a signing sometime within the next week. However, Orioles owner Peter Angelos and Borris have not spoken in the last several weeks. During that time, general manager Pat Gillick and assistant Kevin Malone have removed themselves from negotiations.

Scheduling and spin

Per Davey Johnson's argument that there is favoritism shown by the schedule-maker toward the Yankees, the Orioles were assigned 20 two-game series this season. The Yankees were assigned the same number.

On Monday, Johnson extended his argument against interleague play by citing the proliferation of two-game series. Johnson half-jokingly suggested the Yankees received a more beneficial schedule. Closer examination revealed little discrepancy.

Of course, Johnson also suggested the Yankees called Sunday's rain-delayed game in order to save Andy Pettitte for Monday's Orioles opener. Of course, Pettitte bombed. Issue closed.

Payback for Tarasco

Right fielder Tony Tarasco has become almost a cult figure in New York, a fact that he unquestionably enjoys.

Tarasco, left waiting for a fly ball on Yankee Stadium's right-field warning track during Game 1 of last October's ALCS by 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier, was recognized at a Manhattan Italian restaurant Monday night by the establishment's owner.

Before Tarasco ordered, the owner approached his party and told him dinner and chardonnay wine were on the house. And to eliminate any hard feelings, he threw in a bottle of Dom Perignon.

"He said, 'You were robbed last year. Consider this repayment,' " Tarasco said of the freebie.

Yanks' Boehringer on DL

The Orioles enjoyed an additional advantage over the Yankees' disintegrating bullpen last night as right-hander Brian Boehringer was put on the disabled list with bone chips in his right elbow.

The club recalled Dan Rios, 24, but the prospect could not get to New York in time for the game.

Asked if Boehringer will be back sooner than later, manager Joe Torre said, "I hope so. There's an irritation in there and we hope it quiets down."

Around the horn

Orioles pitcher Jimmy Key was presented his World Series ring by Torre before the game and Scott Kamieniecki was fitted for one before his start. Key was a central figure in last year's World Series drive as he gave the Yankees 12 wins, including nine after June. Kamieniecki's contributions were more marginal as he spent much of the year recovering from off-season elbow surgery. He was 1-2 with an 11.12 ERA in seven appearances. Johnson confirmed that rookie Mike Johnson will receive a third start Friday against the Indians. He made no commitments beyond then and indications are growing that the club may soon promote left-hander Rick Krivda from Triple-A Rochester. Krivda (7-1, 2.65 ERA) yesterday was named the International League's Pitcher of the Month. Yankees first baseman Tino Martinez was PTC

in a 1-for-20 slump before his third-inning homer, his first since May 17.

Hits and misses

On the field: When Roberto Alomar drilled a double against Kenny Rogers in the second inning, it was the second baseman's first extra-base hit in 51 right-handed at-bats.

In the dugout: Davey Johnson dropped B. J. Surhoff below both Pete Incaviglia and Jeffrey Hammonds in the lineup. He was rewarded quickly as Incaviglia singled in his first two at-bats and Hammonds drilled a three-run homer in the second inning.

In the clubhouse: "The guy can pitch. I've never seen anybody who threw harder with that kind of forkball." -- Former Japanese League player Incaviglia on Hideki Irabu, who is expected to sign today with the Yankees.

Pub Date: 5/28/97

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