Sore chest to force Drabek to miss a start Key throws with smile; Anderson back in lineup


Orioles manager Ray Miller said yesterday that Doug Drabek will miss tomorrow's start against Toronto because of lingering soreness in a muscle on the right side of his chest. Left-hander Doug Johns will take his place, bouncing again from the bullpen to the rotation.

Drabek threw in the outfield before last night's game against New York, then sought out trainer Richie Bancells.

"I still felt it. It felt better as far as just moving it and stretching it, but throwing, it was still there," he said.

Drabek experienced tightness in his chest while warming before Saturday's start in Toronto. He lasted two innings before Miller pulled him.

Miller said he's still not considering the disabled list for Drabek "at this moment."

Another of his wounded pitchers, Jimmy Key, played catch yesterday for the first time since going on the DL May 24, retroactive to May 21, with inflammation in his left rotator cuff. He then headed to the trainer's room and performed some light exercises.

"It went well. He had a smile on his face," said pitching coach Mike Flanagan. "We'll see how he feels tomorrow and go from there."

Brady is back

Brady Anderson returned to the lineup after missing the past three games with a pulled quadriceps muscle in his right leg.

Miller said he didn't check on his center fielder yesterday. He heard nothing from Anderson, which he took as a good sign.

"I talked to him [Monday]," Miller said. "He ran after the game, I know that. We'll see. He'll do all right."

Indeed, Anderson went 1-for-3 to lift his average to .199.

Traction for Kamieniecki

Club officials still aren't certain when Scott Kamieniecki will be ready to begin throwing. He continues to receive daily treatments for neck stiffness, and for the past week has spent about 20 minutes each afternoon in traction.

"I'll be 6-3 by the time I'm finished. They'll have to change my bio," said the 6-foot Kamieniecki, who went on the DL May 30, retroactive to May 23.

His condition initially was thought to be a strained muscle along the right side of his neck, but the club now believes a pinched nerve is causing Kamieniecki's discomfort. It will be at least another week, Kamieniecki said, before he can consider throwing.

No rest for Carter

Miller had intended on giving Joe Carter the night off, but that changed after Eric Davis was hit in the back by a pitch from Yankees reliever Mike Stanton in the seventh inning of Monday's win. Carter didn't get away unscathed that night either, fouling a ball off his left knee, but was able to start in right field for the fourth consecutive game.

Carter bent over for several seconds after being hit, but stayed in the game after being checked by Bancells. The knot that sprung up had mostly vanished by yesterday.

"I've done a lot of things as far as hitting the ball off my back leg and thigh. Nothing surprises me anymore," he said.

Carter received treatment on the knee before the game. "It's not going to keep me out," he said. "I waited long enough to start playing. I'm definitely not going to be sitting down."

Not with his production going up. Carter was batting .300 (15-for-50) with four homers and 12 RBIs over his last 14 games before going 0-for-4 last night.

Picking up the pieces

Once again, Yankees pitcher Hideki Irabu took the mound one night after an incident between these clubs. He started the May 20 game in New York after the brawl that led to five suspensions, and again last night after Davis was nailed by Stanton.

Irabu allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings in New York. He also hit Anderson and Mike Bordick, though Yankees manager Joe Torre said it wasn't in retaliation for Orioles reliever Armando Benitez planting a fastball in the middle of Tino Martinez's back.

Before Irabu (6-2) yielded two runs in seven innings to lift his league-leading ERA to 1.68, Miller said he noticed that Irabu appears in much better shape than last year, when he went 5-4 with a 7.09 ERA and didn't come close to living up to the hype and hefty contract that accompanied his arrival from Japan. But there are other differences, as well.

"He threw a lot more fastballs in his last outing and he had a good curveball and he was quick to the plate," Miller said. "Last year he was very slow to the plate and basically threw a fastball and split. In the game against us, he was pretty consistent with strike one. He threw all strikes except the ones that hit Brady and Bordy."

Around the horn

Benitez wasn't available last night and may not be ready tonight after suffering a small cut on his right index finger while warming up during Monday's game. He sat down in the ninth inning, and Jesse Orosco collected the save with two scoreless tTC innings. Nerio Rodriguez threw for the second time since going on the DL May 28 retroactive to May 26 with right shoulder tendinitis. He said he felt fine. The start was delayed 1 hour, 11 minutes by rain. Miller said it was "more than likely" that reliever Terry Mathews would be activated from the DL today. To open a spot for Mathews, rookie left-hander Radhames Dykhoff probably will be returned to the minors. He made one appearance since being summoned from Double-A Bowie, allowing two runs in one inning and being hit on the left shin by a line drive.

Pub Date: 6/17/98

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