WINTER HAVEN, Fla. _ Cleveland Indians pitcher Chad Ogea underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Saturday and is expected to be sidelined six weeks.
He is the second Cleveland starter sidelined this spring. Ben McDonald had right shoulder surgery Feb. 25 and is expected to miss the entire 1998 season.
"No question Chad's injury is a setback but we don't think it is a long-term problem," General Manager John Hart said during the Indians' spring training game against the Houston Astros.
Ogea experienced a locking sensation in the knee joint during a workout Thursday. An examination revealed a slight tear of the posterior meniscus, which was repaired by Dr. Louis Keppler at Lutheran Medical Center in Cleveland.
"Chad should be on crutches for three to four days and able to start throwing in two weeks," Hart said. "He should be ready to go if not by Opening Day, then shortly thereafter."
Hart said the injury probably would open a spot in the rotation for Bartolo Colon and Steve Karsay.
"We will continue to look outside the organization for pitching," Hart said. "But chances are non-existent of getting a No. 1 starter and very remote of getting a guy for the middle of the rotation. You're kidding yourself if you think you can.
"I'm concerned about our depth after losing two starters. We'll try to see what we can do to maintain depth in the staff."
On the field, Charles Nagy pitched four scoreless innings in the best outing by a Cleveland pitcher this spring as the Indians defeated a Houston Astros split squad 8-5 Saturday.
"Charlie threw very well," Indians manager Mike Hargrove said. "He was only supposed to go three innings but his pitch count was low, he was throwing strikes, so he took it four."
Nagy allowed two hits, walked two and struck out two.
Cleveland broke a 5-5 tie in the eighth inning. A throwing error by third baseman Luis Rivera brought in one run, another scored on a wild pitch by Roger Salkeld and Sean Casey singled in the final run.
Alan Probst had tied the score with a two-run homer in the top half off former Astros left-hander Tom Martin.
"I saw him dig into his glove and change his grip and I figured it was going to be a changeup," Probst said. "It gave us a chance to get back in the game and then we gave it away."
Pat Borders opened the Cleveland scoring with a leadoff homer in the fifth. Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome had RBI doubles, and Geronimo Berroa an RBI single in a three-run sixth. Berroa also had an RBI single in the seventh.
Rivera, Ricky Gutierrez and Roy Montgomery each had two hits and one RBI for Houston.