Baltimore recalls Leon a day after being sent down

Updated: June 19, 2004, 8:08 PM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- Baltimore Orioles left fielder B.J. Surhoff was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a strained left calf.

Surhoff was injured Friday night against the Colorado Rockies while running out to his position in the fourth inning. He came out of the game and had a hard time getting up the stairs to the dugout before batting practice Saturday.

"It could be a week to 10 days and we didn't have a choice," Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said. "With the injuries, we are down to one guy. That's it. We are in a National League ballpark and then go on to a series with the Yankees. We needed somebody here."

That player is infielder Jose Leon, who was recalled from Triple-A Ottawa a day after being sent down. Leon was optioned when the Orioles signed infielder David Newhan, but wasn't able to get out of Denver and was available to play against the Rockies on Saturday.

But it will be hard to replace Surhoff, particularly with the injuries that have plagued the Orioles in recent weeks.

Right-hander Rick Bauer was placed on the disabled list Friday with nerve irritation in his elbow and third baseman Melvin Mora missed his second straight game after straining a ligament in his foot Thursday against Los Angeles.

First baseman David Segui (knee), outfielder Marty Cordova (knee) and left-hander Omar Daal (shoulder) are already on the disabled list, and outfielder Luis Matos was only going to be used in an emergency Saturday because he's nursing sore ribs.

While the injuries have taken a toll, leading to six straight losses through Friday, Surhoff had been one of the few bright spots. He was hitting .321 with three homers and 19 RBIs, and had an eight-game hitting streak heading into Friday's game.

"We didn't want to do it, especially the way he's been playing," Mazzilli said. "Right now anybody that has a heartbeat is going to play."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press