SEATTLE, AUG. 15 -- The Baltimore Orioles will hold a partial team meeting in the office of club physician Charles Silberstein Thursday afternoon. The results of the gathering will go a long way toward determining the shape of the Orioles' near future.
Pitchers Dave Johnson and Bob Milacki and first baseman Randy Milligan all are scheduled to be examined by Silberstein. As the team departed here late tonight, the prospects of a quick return to action by Milacki and Milligan seemed to be improving; Johnson's condition, however, remained uncertain.
Baltimore's winningest pitcher at 11-8, Johnson was knocked out after 2 1/3 innings of the Orioles' 7-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners Tuesday. He was in apparent discomfort on the mound as he was blasted for four runs and five extra-base hits, including a pair of home runs by Greg Briley that pushed Johnson's major league-leading gopher ball total to 26.
He suffered his second straight loss, that on the heels of a career-best, three-game winning streak -- the last victory of which came two weeks ago, when he was forced out of a win over Kansas City in the sixth inning with leg cramps.
Johnson was diagnosed two days later as having a strained lower back, but showed few ill effects during his previous outing last week in Oakland. The leg cramps are gone, he said, but the back has become more of a problem. He said today he isn't certain he'll be able to make his next scheduled start Sunday against the Athletics in Baltimore.
The Orioles have only nine pitchers on their roster, and Johnson's injury could throw a troublesome wrench into plans for a four-man starting rotation. Milacki is not eligible to return from the disabled list until Tuesday. He threw for 15 minutes off a mound today, emerging more optimistic about his strained right shoulder than he was after his first serious throwing session.
Milacki will throw again Friday and hopes are that he'll start at Boston the day he's eligible to come off the DL.
Milligan's target also is the Boston series. He proudly displayed today an ability to raise his left arm beyond parallel to the ground for the first time since he bruised his shoulder last week. Fellow first baseman Ron Kittle, sidelined with a pulled groin, returned for the first time in four games tonight, as a pinch-hitter . . .
The Orioles have used six first basemen on this nine-game trip, more than they've had in any full season since 1985 . . . Jeff McKnight was in right field tonight, his fourth position on the trip . . .
Pitcher John Mitchell was fined $350 by AL President Bobby Brown for throwing behind Kansas City's Kevin Seitzer and being ejected from a game against the Royals 12 days ago.