The Orioles will continue to play a role in the American League East for at least the next three nights, when the Boston Red Sox, the struggling division leaders, visit Memorial Stadium.
Blowing two leads and losing three games in the ninth inning over the weekend, the Orioles did their part to keep the Toronto Blue Jays in the race. Now they will rely on three rookie pitchers against Boston.
Ben McDonald (7-4, 2.55) will face ex-Oriole Mike Boddicker (15-8, 3.38) in tonight's game (7:35, HTS). Jose Mesa (1-2, 5.04) goes against Tom Bolton (9-3, 3.29) tomorrow night, with Anthony Telford (2-2, 3.16) and Joe Hesketh (0-3, 2.74) matching up in the series finale Wednesday night.
Using young starters against contenders this late in the season is not a problem for the Orioles, because they have dominated the rotation all year. However, the remaining schedule could have a bearing on how Frank Robinson uses three other rookies he's anxious to see.
Third baseman Leo Gomez, catcher Chris Hoiles and shortstop Juan Bell, the position players recalled from Rochester, join the club tonight.It will be interesting to see how ,or if,Robinson uses them against Boston and in the final three games of the year ,against the Blue Jays.
Of the three,Gomez figures to command the most attention after hitting 26 home runs during the regular season at Rochester, then adding three more during postseason play. This will be Hoiles' third stint with the Orioles this year. Bell had a solid season at Rochester, despite spending almost a month on the disabled list.
Pitchers Mickey Weston, Mike Smith and Dan Boone also were promoted from Rochester over the weekend, with Weston due to report for tonight's game.