The Baltimore Orioles placed Sammy Sosa on the 15-day disabled list -- retroactive to Aug. 26 -- with a lesion on his right big toe, the outfielder's second foot ailment this season. Sosa missed 16 games in May with a staph infection on his left foot.

"I talked to him last night after the game and he's still in a lot of pain with his foot," interim manager Sam Perlozzo said. "I guess he's had this in the past and he's missed some time. He felt like he was going to need some time with it. I asked him if he was opposed to the DL and he basically said that he was probably going to need more time than it would be good for the team. It was pretty much a no-brainer at that point."

Sosa missed 20 days in May 2003 with a similar injury, though that one was more severe than the one he has now. Perlozzo said he didn't expect Sosa to miss more than the 15 days. Sosa has not been at the park the past two days.

"He thought a week to 10 days, but at that point in time, you might as well DL him," Perlozzo said. To replace Sosa on the roster, the Orioles called up first baseman Alejandro Freire from Class AA Bowie.

Decision on Ponson Close

Perlozzo said he thought a decision on Sidney Ponson's future may come soon.

"I would think that situation is, whichever way it was decided, it won't be a daily thing," Perlozzo said. "When they come back with a decision here in a day or two, it will be the decision, period."

One source close to the team said the Orioles have had discussions this weekend with Ponson's agent, Barry Praver, who flew to Baltimore from Florida. Neither Praver nor Orioles Vice President Mike Flanagan returned a phone call.

"I can't really tell you a specific time," Orioles Executive Vice President Jim Beattie said. "We're still in a fact-finding stage. When the appropriate time comes, we'll address it more publicly."

Beattie declined to say whether he had spoken with Ponson on Sunday, but said the pitcher was excused from being with the team. . . .

Orioles third baseman Melvin Mora, after going 35 games without a home run, has hit three home runs in two days.