-- Only two games into his return from a 10-day suspension for testing positive for steroids, Baltimore Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro was scratched from Wednesday's lineup with a sprained right ankle. Palmeiro said he hurt the ankle beating out an infield single in the sixth inning of Tuesday's 4-3 win against the Oakland Athletics. X-rays taken of Palmeiro's ankle at a hospital were negative. He is day-to-day.

"Either coming out of the box or running down to first base, something happened," he said. "Because when I got to first base my ankle was hurting. I don't remember twisting it or anything. I came around the bases and I felt pretty good. My last at-bat, I couldn't put any weight on it. That's what I get for not playing for two weeks."

Palmeiro attempted to run prior to Wednesday's game, but felt pain. At that point, he was scratched from the lineup. The infield single was one of two hits by Palmeiro on Tuesday. He was hitless in four at-bats in his return to the lineup on Sunday.

"I was ready to come back out today," he said. "I am anxious to get playing every day. And now this. I don't think it's anything, I hope. I'll have a day off [Friday]. I just wanted to get going, get back into my rhythm. The more I get into it, the more at-bats I get, the better I am going to feel."

Interim manager Sam Perlozzo said he tentatively still has Palmeiro playing first base for the first time since his suspension on Friday against the Cleveland Indians.

"I was hoping we'd break him right out at first base," Perlozzo said. "We are still going to go with that unless we get some bad news."

Grimsley Hit Hard

Orioles reliever Jason Grimsley, who allowed three runs and retired no batters in the seventh, has allowed five home runs this season in just 142/3 innings. Grimsley has allowed a total of 17 hits. . . .

Eric Byrnes was 0 for 13 in his first return to Oakland since being traded to the Colorado Rockies and then the Orioles this season. . . . Luis Matos had three hits and has hit .439 in his past 12 games.