Sosa placed on disabled list with toe injury

BALTIMORE -- Sammy Sosa was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday by the Baltimore Orioles, who decided against taking a wait-and-see stance on the toe injury that has sidelined the slumping slugger since Thursday.

Sosa had a lesion removed from underneath the nail of his right big toe on Friday. It`s similar to an injury that forced him out of action in 2003, when he was with the Chicago Cubs.

``I asked him if he was opposed to the DL, and he said he was probably going to need a little more time,`` said interim manager Sam Perlozzo, who called the decision ``a no brainer.``

``He thought it would be a week to 10 days. At that point in time you might as well DL him,`` Perlozzo said. ``He said he`s had the thing in the past where he`s missed more time than that.``

Two years ago, Sosa was on the disabled list from May 10-30 after having surgery to remove the nail from the same toe.

To replace Sosa on the roster, Baltimore recalled first baseman Alejandro Freire from Triple-A Ottawa.

It`s been a tough season for Sosa, who`s batting .221 after going 5-for-50 over his last 14 games. He hasn`t had an RBI in 12 games, his longest such run since a 23-game stretch in 1992.

Before the injury, he batted seventh in the batting order in four of eight games, the first time he hit at that spot since May 23, 1993, with the Cubs.

Sosa did not show up at the ballpark Sunday, and Perlozzo said the outfielder likely would not accompany the team on the six-game road trip that begins Tuesday.

It`s the seventh stint on the disabled list for Sosa in his career, the second this year. He missed 16 games in May with a staph infection on the bottom of his left foot.

Despite his struggle at the plate and problems with injuries, Sosa has managed to maintain his engaging smile during his first season in Baltimore.

``I`ve never really seen him down,`` Perlozzo said. ``No matter how much he would struggle, if you ever walked by him and said, `Let`s go get `em today,` he would say, `You better believe it.``` has the Baltimore Orioles listed at +15000 to win this year`s American League title.

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