Groin injury lands Alomar on DL Baines' return could affect Berroa, Hammonds; Expos pitcher Juden eyed

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The Orioles' fears were confirmed yesterday, causing them to place second baseman Roberto Alomar on the 15-day disabled list because of a pulled right groin he suffered in Tuesday night's game against the Texas Rangers.

The club used his roster spot to add designated hitter Harold Baines, whom they acquired in return for a player to be named. Alomar arrived at the clubhouse yesterday afternoon unable to walk without discomfort. Stiffness in the area caused him to sleep on a couch rather than a bed the night before as any movement bothered him.

"I've never had to go through injuries like this before in my career. I've been lucky. I guess this is my time, so I'll have to deal with it," he said.

Alomar said there was good news. He suffered no bruising of the area, indicating there was no tear.

"I'll take a couple weeks off, then see what happens. There's not a whole lot I can do like this," he said.

DH intrigue

Baines returned to the fold yesterday, and the Orioles' clubhouse suddenly became a little more cramped for Jeffrey Hammonds and Geronimo Berroa.

The day after the Orioles traded for Baines, manager Davey Johnson batted the left-handed hitter cleanup and put Berroa in right field. Hammonds was held out for a second consecutive game despite improvement in his sore left calf. Asked his blueprint for using three players in two spots, Johnson said he would first meet with the affected players before giving an opinion.

"You're getting a day or two ahead. How about letting me get a feel for it? I haven't sat down with Harold, and I want to sit down with Berroa, too, which I'd like to start doing right now," said Johnson, rising to leave the dugout.

Berroa was less bashful, saying he anticipates no decrease in playing time but adding, "I'm not surprised by anything in this game anymore."

Johnson intends to discuss the situation with all parties involved. Berroa said he had heard nothing from the manager but would also like to discuss any time-sharing arrangement since he anticipated an everyday role when traded from the Oakland Athletics.

"If I play every day, I don't have a problem with anything," he said. "I don't care if I hit No. 7. I don't care if I hit No. 9. I don't care if I DH. As long as I get my four at-bats every day, I'm fine."

Berroa has hit in 15 of his past 18 games after enduring a rough transition after being acquired in late June. He entered yesterday's game with 14 RBIs in his past 14 games, including a five-RBI breakout July 17.

"I came here to help this team," he said. "I don't think that I've done bad. Some people think it's easy to come to a new team. It's not easy."

M. Johnson to Expos?

The Orioles have discussed a deal that would send rookie pitcher Mike Johnson to the Montreal Expos, possibly as part of an expanded package for pitcher Jeff Juden. Johnson was designated for assignment when the club elevated Rick Krivda from Triple-A Rochester on Monday.

The Orioles have a week to trade Johnson before placing him on waivers. Any team may then claim him. Meanwhile, the club's pursuit of Cincinnati Reds left-hander John Smiley may have been stymied by the Cleveland Indians, who are also interested. The trade deadline passes at midnight.

Rodriguez's X-rays negative

Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez, the subject of trade rumors as tonight's deadline approaches, was hit on the left wrist by a pitch from Scott Kamieniecki in the second inning. He laid on the ground in obvious pain before leaving the game. X-rays were negative, and Rodriguez said he expects to play tomorrow night.

Rodriguez wanted to stay in the game, but manager Johnny Oates didn't give him the option. "I don't take myself out so easily, but he said he wanted to take care of me," Rodriguez said.

Years apart

The Rangers lost 10 of 11 games against the Orioles this year after going 10-3 against them last season.

"We move on," Oates said. "Just like they were glad to see us get out of here last year. Turnabout's fair play."

38-pitch inning costs Krivda

Given some more time to think about Tuesday night's outing, left-hander Rick Krivda said he was happy with the result -- his first win since being called up from the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings on Sunday -- but he didn't particularly like the way he pitched. Krivda wished he could have been more economical in the first inning, when two infield hits and two walks produced a Texas run and kept him on the mound much longer than he wanted.

They also kept him from getting through the sixth inning, when manager Davey Johnson decided to pull him after 96 pitches. Krivda gave up five hits and was charged with three runs in the Orioles' 5-4 victory over Texas.

"I threw 38 pitches in the first inning," he said. "If I had a normal 15-pitch inning, I probably would have been out there another two innings, at least. It's something to learn from. I'll do better next time."

"I thought everything was a little crisper, sharper," Johnson said. "His fastball had a little more zip. The only thing I didn't like was he was getting the ball up. Hopefully, that was just because he was pumped up."

Around the horn

Rafael Palmeiro went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts, ending an eight-game hitting streak. Geronimo Berroa has hit safely in 15 of his past 17 games. Randy Myers has recorded at least 30 saves six times in his career, including each of the past three seasons. Rusty Greer's double in the first inning enabled the Rangers to set a team record by getting an extra-base hit in 57 consecutive games. Yesterday's crowd of 47,854 was the 32nd sellout in a row, the 35th overall and the seventh-largest for a regular-season game at Camden Yards. The three-game total of 143,221 was the third-largest for a three-game series.

Pub Date: 7/31/97

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