OAKLAND, AUG. 8 -- The Baltimore Orioles flirted with one disaster after another Tuesday, as their injury list continued to grow and they began a nine-day western trip with a wrenching loss. While they licked their wounds today, it was only a slight consolation that things weren't quite as bad as they had appeared the night before.

First baseman Randy Milligan had his left arm in a sling, nursing a shoulder bruised while crashing into catcher Ron Hassey in the first inning of the Athletics' 3-2 victory. X-rays were negative, but Milligan spent a virtually sleepless night before arriving at the ballpark today still in obvious discomfort.

Meanwhile, Mickey Tettleton was sporting an ugly welt just above his right elbow from being struck by a Bob Welch fastball. It was roughly the same spot where Tettleton was hit by a pitch earlier this season in Texas, and -- despite Tettleton's insistance that he could play catcher today, even if "throwing would be a little tricky" -- Manager Frank Robinson planned to give him the afternoon off until using him as a late-inning pinch hitter and emergency first baseman.

If Milligan still is incapacitated Thursday, he may go on the disabled list. General Manager Roland Hemond -- alarmed by today's first-base dilemma that saw Tettleton's initial appearance at the position -- telephoned Class AAA Rochester from the press box here to have David Segui ready for a possible recall.

Without Milligan, Robinson has his choice of three converted designated hitters. Ron Kittle and Sam Horn both play first base, but neither is particularly adept. And Tettleton certainly is nothing more than a stop-gap answer.

Milligan has hit .136 and is without an RBI in his last 13 games, but he remains the club's most consistent run producer, with 20 home runs and a .408 on-base percentage.

Milligan said today he would charge into a catcher again if similar circumstances arose. "But maybe I'd try to hurt his shoulder," he said.

The play at the plate came after Sam Horn delivered a sharp double to left-center field. Joe Orsulak scored ahead of Milligan and third-base coach Cal Ripken Sr. waved around the 230-pounder as center fielder Dave Henderson retrieved the ball. Milligan and Walt Weiss's relay throw arrived at Hassey at about the same time, and Milligan's crunching hit jarred the ball free as he scored. Holton Stays, Aldrich Goes

Former Orioles reliever Brian Holton cleared waivers today and will report to Class AAA Rochester. Also, Jay Aldrich -- the winning pitcher on opening day -- had his contract purchased by the San Francisco Giants and was assigned to AAA Phoenix. Aldrich was 4-1 with a 5.37 ERA in 30 games with Rochester. . . .

Orioles third baseman Craig Worthington was out of the starting lineup today for the fourth straight game. He said his slight hamstring pull has healed sufficiently for him to return to full-time duties. . . .

The A's didn't escape Tuesday's game unscathed: Outfielder Rickey Henderson left the game with a strained left hamstring.