BALTIMORE, AUG. 1 -- The Orioles got good news this afternoon when reliever Joe Price was cleared to pitch. Tonight, they got outfielder Dave Gallagher.

Price has had back pains, but after being examined by a specialist today said he would not need surgery, as had been feared. He has a degenerate disk and a bulging disk, but said "a little exercise and some treatment should make it 100 percent again. Unless I'm misinterpreting something, it's good news."

He was on the disabled list June 29 to July 15 but has been fairly effective this season, compiling a 1-2 record with a 2.81 ERA. But in his last few appearances, he said he could feel "something not right."

"There were times when I could tell I didn't have my best stuff," he said. "If you can't explode towards the plate when you pitch, you lose a lot of power. . . . I just have to make the back workout a part of my daily routine."

Gallagher, 29, is expected to report Thursday. He was acquired on on waivers from the White Sox after tonight's loss to the Blue Jays. He hit .303 in 101 games in 1988 but has played sparingly this season. He adds balance to the Orioles' outfield, which had only one right-hander -- Brady Anderson.

"It will help us to be able to play two right-handed outfielders against lefties now," said Orioles Manager Frank Robinson.

After his stellar 1988 season, Gallagher hit a still-repectable .266 last year as the White Sox everyday center fielder.

After coming up with the Indians, he was dealt to the Mariners for pitcher Tom Huismann. This season with the White Sox, he was hitting .268 with no homers and four RBI in 71 at-bats, mostly as a pinch hitter.

Orioles General Manager Roland Hemond said the club would decide before Thursday's game who would be demoted to make room.

No. 1 Times 3

The Orioles' three most recent No. 1 draft picks had quite a night Tuesday.

Ben McDonald, the overall No. 1 pick in the 1989 draft, and 1988 first pick Gregg Olson stopped the Blue Jays here, and 1990 first pick Mike Mussina got his first professional win by throwing seven shutout innings with nine strikouts and no walks for Hagerstown (AA) in a 7-0 victory over New Britain. . . . McDonald matched Dave McNally as the only Oriole to win his first three major league starts. He is already one of only four Orioles to throw a shutout in his first start.