The Baltimore Orioles essentially have been playing for nearly three weeks without a backup catcher, which is why they are eager for Lenny Webster to return from the disabled list. The Orioles are aiming for Webster's return this weekend against Philadelphia.

All that needs to be settled is whether Webster will do a minor league rehabilitation assignment first. Manager Ray Miller will wait until after Wednesday's amateur draft to talk to General Manager Frank Wren about what to do with Webster.

"The choices would be to rehab him, or just activate him," said Miller.

However, judging from how little Miller has used fill-in catcher Tommy Davis, the Orioles can afford to carry a semi-healthy Webster on the active roster, even if he is only available for spot duty at first. Davis has made only one start and four other pinch-hit or pinch-run appearances, leaving the rest to starter Charles Johnson, who has had only one day off since May 2.

Webster, who sprained his right ankle on May 13, hit again and caught again in the bullpen before tonight's game.

Minor League Trade

The Orioles made a minor trade today, sending Class AAA outfielder Lyle Mouton to the Milwaukee Brewers for minor league outfielder Todd Dunn. Dunn, 28, was hitting .217 in 40 games at Class AAA Louisville with five homers and 16 RBI. In 50 career major league games, he hit .234 with three homers and 10 RBI. . . .

The Mariners made a switch in their rotation, and will start John Halama instead of Jeff Fassero in Thursday night's series finale. Fassero was hit on his pitching hand with a line drive Saturday, and has been pushed back to Friday.

Halama has made one other start this season, but has worked primarily out of the bullpen. He is 3-2 with a 4.78 ERA.

Since both Fassero and Halama are left-handed, Miller said he probably will not change his original intention of resting designated hitter Harold Baines. Miller is wary of playing Baines too much on artificial turf.

Kamieniecki Update

Miller spoke with Class AAA Rochester pitching coach Larry McCall for a scouting report on struggling pitcher Scott Kamieniecki, who gave up nine hits and six earned runs in six innings Monday night.

McCall said that Kamieniecki "threw strikes but couldn't finish anybody off," Miller said. "He went six, but he didn't have command of anything but his fastball. He'll have to be evaluated some more."

Kamieniecki, 35, who agreed to be demoted for three starts, will make one more start for Rochester, and then the Orioles will have to decide whether to bring him back up to the majors, place him on the disabled list, or move his contract either by trading him or releasing him. . . .

Right-hander Jason Johnson was available for bullpen duty tonight and will be again Wednesday. . . .

Entering tonight, the Orioles had gotten 10 hits or more in a game 20 times, but were only 9-11 in those games.