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O's add outfielder, place Davis on DL Bowie's Dellucci gives Johnson left-handed bat

With doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center still trying to ascertain the cause of Eric Davis' abdominal infection, the Orioles placed the outfielder on the 15-day disabled list yesterday, retroactive to May 26, and purchased the contract of left-handed-hitting outfielder David Dellucci from Double-A Bowie.

Davis hasn't played since last Sunday, a day after he removed himself with "excruciating" pain in his stomach and went to a Cleveland hospital for four hours. He has been receiving intravenous antibiotics to combat a 3 1/2 -inch mass under the abdominal wall, and has a catheter draining the infectious pocket.

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"I talked to a couple of doctors [Friday] and they told me he was much improved, but that it could be four or five more days until the infection really got out of him," said manager Davey Johnson. "They said at some point, there must have been a perforation and it caused an infection and the perforation healed up. That's all they know."

In 48 games with the Baysox, Dellucci was batting .346 (54-for-156) with 11 doubles, two triples, 11 home runs and 25 RBIs. He batted .388 (40-for-103) in May with nine homers, including two Friday night against Binghamton, but didn't see a promotion coming.

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Instead, he heard about it through a phone call from Bowie trainer Mitch Bibb around 12: 30 a.m.

"I had just gone to bed. I couldn't imagine who it would be," said Dellucci, 23. "[Bibb] told me, 'This is the first time I've ever had to do this,' and I was like, 'What's going on?' Then he told me. I thought he was joking. I can't describe what was going through my head. I was on the phone until about 3: 30 telling my family.

"If anything, I thought I was going to go to Rochester. It was a surprise for me. I haven't spoken to very many people [here] about anything. If this is my only day here, I'm thrilled."

Despite batting left-handed, Dellucci had a .462 average (18-for-39) against lefties, including four doubles and five homers.

"In college [University of Mississippi], I was a better hitter against left-handed pitchers," he said. "I think I concentrate more on getting the ball to left field. My concentration is a lot better with left-handed pitching."

Syd Thrift, the Orioles' farm director, recommended Dellucci to Johnson, who was seeking a left-handed-hitting outfielder.

"I just saw him play three nights ago and he hit a home run over the center-field fence," Thrift said. "He uses the whole field, he has a short swing, but heaven knows if he's going to hit in the big leagues."

To make room for Dellucci on the 40-man roster, the Orioles transferred Jerome Walton to the 60-day DL.

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Incaviglia out for few days

Dellucci's arrival also is important because the Orioles will be without Pete Incaviglia for the next three or four days, Johnson said.

Incaviglia was hit on the left elbow by a pitch from Indians starter Charles Nagy on Friday and had to leave the game. X-rays were negative, but the elbow was swollen and sore yesterday.

Johnson had considered adding a pitcher until Incaviglia was hurt.

Trying to find something positive to take from all the outfield injuries, Johnson said they have given others a chance to play.

"When Eric would go down, Walton was in there. Then Walton has been down, and [Jeffrey] Hammonds and [Tony] Tarasco have done well," he said. "Other guys have gotten opportunities and they've produced. It's been that way up and down our lineup."

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Alomar feels shoulder 'pop'

Roberto Alomar reached base four times, including a double and two singles, and knocked in the tying run in the sixth inning. But his good day took a scary turn in the eighth when he had to leave after feeling something pop in his left shoulder while swinging at the first pitch from Alvin Morman.

Alomar, who was batting from the right side for the first time yesterday, was removed as a precautionary measure, and Johnson said he probably would be OK hitting left-handed. The Indians are starting right-handers Albie Lopez and Chad Ogea the next two games.

"I had a long swing and felt a little pop," said Alomar, who is 10-for-17 (.588) in his past four games. "I knew it wasn't bad because I didn't feel any pain. I'll wait and see what happens [today]." Now that shortstop Mike Bordick has gotten his average above .200, he looks intent on keeping it there. He had two more hits yesterday, including his second home run, and is batting .216.

Bordick was on a 10-for-25 (.400) tear before bouncing into a double play in his last at-bat. He has hit safely in six of the past seven games since a 1-for-13 slump.

Domination

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Johnson said he has seen a lot of dominant pitching performances as a player and manager, but nothing quite like Mike Mussina's near-perfect game Friday because it came against a great hitting club.

"I don't think he gave but a couple pitches that were over the heart of the plate all night long," he said. "It was a joy for me to watch."

Mussina didn't allow a base runner until Sandy Alomar singled with one out in the ninth inning. Alomar was booed roundly yesterday after being introduced as a pinch hitter in the ninth.

Around the horn

Rafael Palmeiro had been the only AL first baseman without an error until yesterday, when his throw to second base sailed into left field in the Indians' four-run first inning. He later made a fine throw from first to third to cut down Omar Vizquel trying to take an extra base. Hammonds' seventh-inning homer to left-center traveled 425 feet. Tarasco's second-inning homer to right-center went 407. Yesterday's attendance of 47,739 was the 10th sellout this year, and the sixth-largest regular-season crowd at Camden Yards, 20 shy of Friday night's. Ticket availability for the rest of this homestand: 2,000 today and 4,000 tomorrow vs. Cleveland; 400 Tuesday and 300 Wednesday vs. New York.

Pub Date: 6/01/97


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