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O's await news of Mills' workout If reliever passes test today, he'll rejoin 'pen tomorrow

BOSTON — BOSTON -- Right-hander Alan Mills will join the Orioles in Atlanta today and could be activated in time for the second game of the interleague series against the Braves, depending on how he throws in a workout today at Turner Field.

Manager Davey Johnson and pitching coach Ray Miller want to see Mills throw before making a decision on his status, but Johnson said on Wednesday that he is eager to have him back in the bullpen.

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"It's possible that he'll be available for [tomorrow's] game, but maybe not probable," Johnson said.

Mills has been out of action since early April, recovering from a freak pre-game collision with catcher Lenny Webster that left him with a pinched nerve in his neck and a weakened left shoulder. It has taken time to regain enough nerve response to allow him safely to return to the mound, but he has thrown competitively a couple of times this week at the club's minor-league facility at Sarasota, Fla.

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The situation may have become more urgent yesterday when right-hander Brian Williams told the club that he woke up with soreness in his right knee. He has been sent back to Baltimore to see club orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs, but could rejoin the club in Atlanta before tonight's game if the injury is not serious.

Williams pitched 4 2/3 innings in relief on Wednesday night. He said that he experienced some discomfort after the extended outing, but didn't think it was anything to worry about until the inflammation intensified overnight.

If Williams needs to go on the disabled list, Mills almost certainly would be the one to take his place on the roster. If Williams is all right, then Johnson will have to decide whether to send him out, or send down rookie outfielder Dave Dellucci and go with 13 pitchers.

What about Krivda?

Johnson said yesterday that the organization is impressed with the recent performance of Rochester Red Wings starter Rick Krivda, but his reserve status could affect when he is brought up.

Krivda is out of options. The club was able to get him through waivers and return him to the minor leagues at the end of spring training, but officials don't expect him to go unclaimed if they have to do that again.

"If he's here, he's here," Johnson said. "He isn't going to get back through. I think there are some people kicking themselves for letting him get through the first time. We aren't going to make that move until we're ready to establish him in the rotation."

That could happen later in the season when the Orioles' schedule begins to fill up with the remaining five weather makeups.

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Johnson on Johnson

Johnson was asked yesterday if he thought the Orioles might try to make a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays that would allow them to send Rule V draftee Mike Johnson to the minor leagues.

"No, I'm looking at him being here the whole year," the manager said. "I'm real high on the kid, and I think Toronto would like to have him back."

Rule 5 players cannot be sent to the minor leagues without being offered back to the team they were drafted from for half of the $50,000 draft price and sent through irrevocable waivers.

Around the horn

When Jimmy Key steps to the plate tonight, he will be the first Orioles pitcher to bat in a regular-season game since reliever Gregg Olson had an at-bat on July 21, 1993. Olson is the only Orioles pitcher to bat in a regular-season game since the designated hitter was instituted in 1973. The last Orioles pitcher to get a hit in a regular-season game was Roric Harrison, who homered on the final day of the 1972 season, but reliever Tim Stoddard had a base hit in the 1979 World Series. Second baseman Roberto Alomar will not be a switch-hitter during the series in Atlanta. His ability to swing the bat right-handed has been limited by a shoulder strain, so he will hit left-handed when the club faces left-hander Tom Glavine on Sunday. Every home run the Orioles hit this week will pay off in the cause of curing prostate cancer. CaP CURE, founded by financier Michael Milken to raise money for prostate cancer research, is collecting pledges for every home run hit in the major leagues from tonight through Wednesday. To pledge, call 1-800-547-CURE. The Orioles announced yesterday the signing of five more selections from this year's June draft. The club signed 13th-round pick Antwain Haman (center fielder) from Coastal Carolina University; round choice Sean Jones (pitcher) from Barton High in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; 22nd-round pick Juan Pacheco (shortstop) out of Rutgers; 40th-round choice Tommy Martin (shortstop) from Hillsdale (Mich.) College; and 41st-round pick Gregory Shaun Curtis (pitcher) from Lexington, Ky. The club has signed 12 of this year's 43 draft choices.

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Pub Date: 6/13/97


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