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AROUND THE LEAGUE: AL

Knee Pain Sidelines Alomar

May 18, 1999| From Associated Press

Cleveland catcher Sandy Alomar, who underwent off-season surgery on his left knee, was put on the 15-day disabled list Monday because of pain in the knee. He's hoping a cortisone injection will get rid of the pain, but if the knee isn't better today, he said he'll consider having surgery.

The six-time All-Star thinks he'd probably miss at least a month if surgery is needed.

"I have two bone chips that either moved and it's irritating the capsule or the capsule has swelled up a bit," he said before Cleveland's game in Chicago. "I don't want this to be a lingering problem. It's not going to help me or the help the club."

Chris Turner was recalled from triple-A Buffalo to fill Alomar's spot and will back up Einar Diaz.

Because he has so little cartilage in his left knee after multiple surgeries, Alomar has been getting periodic injections of hylagen, a lubricant to ease soreness caused by bone rubbing on bone.

Alomar is batting .317 with three homers and 16 RBIs in 22 games.

"Any time you lose an All-Star, it's disappointing," Manager Mike Hargrove said. "We're very fortunate we've got a capable backup. And he hasn't died, so he will be back."

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An arbitrator heard testimony from four witnesses in the grievance case for 33-year-old Xavier Hernandez, whose $2.7-million, two-year contract with Baltimore was voided this winter.

The Orioles voided Hernandez's contract after saying he flunked a physical.

Hernandez, 6-6 with one save and a 3.57 earned-run average last season, is seeking $2.45 million, the difference between his deal with the Orioles and one he signed later with Houston.

He was released by Houston in March and signed a minor league deal with the Mets last week.

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Tampa Bay's Miguel Cairo, sidelined since April 23 because of a strained right hamstring, was activated from the 15-day disabled list.

To make room, third baseman Bobby Smith was optioned to triple-A Durham.

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