Horn stays in the swing with two triples, six RBI

Orioles notes

March 17, 1991|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Sun Staff Correspondent

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Sam Horn continues to force the issue. He wants to be the Baltimore Orioles' full-time designated hitter, and he has made quite a case for himself in the first two weeks of the Grapefruit League exhibition season.

Horn hit two stand-up triples in a three-hit, six-RBI performance that led the Orioles to a 10-7 victory in 10 innings over the Texas Rangers yesterday at Charlotte County Stadium.

Horn brought the Orioles back from a three-run deficit with a bases-loaded triple in the sixth and put them ahead with an RBI single in the eighth. Then, his two-run triple down the left-field line in the 10th inning ended the club's four-game Grapefruit League losing streak.

How unlikely are two Horn triples in a game? Very. He never has had a triple in a regular-season game in the major leagues and has only four in nine pro seasons.

It has been an eventful spring for Horn. He leads the Orioles with two home runs and 11 RBI and ranks among the top hitters in the major leagues with a .474 average.

The six RBI equaled Horn's regular-season career high, set on Opening Day last year when he hit two three-run homers in an extra-inning victory over the Kansas City Royals.

* Randy Milligan played in the outfield for the first time since the opening game of the exhibition season, spending three innings in left field as the Orioles dropped a 7-6 decision to the Texas Rangers in a "B" game.

Once again, however, he did not get an opportunity to field a fly ball. The only chance he has accepted in two exhibition appearances was a base hit he fielded in the third inning.

"I thought I ran pretty good today," Milligan said. "Thing only thing that is bothering me is the ankle tape. I'm not used to playing with it taped, so it's uncomfortable."

Orioles manager Frank Robinson removed Milligan from the game early as a precaution. A light rain fell intermittently throughout the game, keeping the field slick.

* The Orioles announced the first roster cuts of the spring, assigning 10 players to the minor-league camp. They are pitchers Chris Myers, Dan Boone and Arthur Rhodes; catchers Mike Eberle and Doug Robbins; infielders Pat Austin and Shane Turner; and outfielders Rodney Lofton, Paul Carey and Tony Chance.

* General manager Roland Hemond watched Carey deliver three more hits in yesterday's "B" game. He said Carey probably would start the season with the Class AA Hagerstown Suns, but added that the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings were not out of the question.

"We'll keep an open mind," Hemond said. "Nothing is concrete. He's only played 49 games in pro ball, but we're very pleased with what we're seeing."

Carey singled sharply off Rangers starter Bobby Witt and had hits off left-handers Mike Jeffcoat and Jim Poole.

* The Orioles say Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer was a good influence on the club while he was making his comeback attempt, and the club's performance in Grapefruit League competition bears that out. The team had lost every game since Palmer left camp, but he returned to broadcast yesterday's game, and the club returned to the win column.

* Rookie outfielder Luis Mercedes continues to make a good impression on the Orioles brass. In Grapefruit League and "B" competition, he's hitting .360 and has a .467 on-base percentage.

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