The Baltimore Orioles, who play the top two teams in the American League East this week, likely will place second baseman Delino DeShields on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring prior to Tuesday's game against the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

The Orioles, who are off Monday, will not have to decide immediately. Manager Ray Miller said DeShields may be out four or five days, or perhaps longer.

"We'll treat him [Monday] morning and make a decision one way or the other," Miller said.

The Orioles could try to survive for a few days using Jeff Reboulet, but Reboulet has a chronically sore heel, and it would also weaken the bench and make it difficult to rest Cal Ripken.

"I'm concerned about losing Reboulet by playing him every day," Miller said. "The Monday off will freshen everybody up a little bit, but I can't afford to go six days in a row" without DeShields.

With infielder Jesse Garcia on the disabled list at Class AAA Rochester, the likeliest call-up would be Rochester second baseman Jerry Hairston.

Webster Heads to AAA

Catcher Lenny Webster, who has been on the disabled list since May 13 with a sprained ankle, will begin a rehabilitation assignment Tuesday at Rochester. He will play there until at least Friday.

The club will be faced with a decision when Webster is ready to return. Catcher Mike Figga, who was claimed off waivers to replace Webster, would have to pass through waivers again for the Orioles to send him down.