Gregg Olson finally got to be a starting pitcher. The All-Star reliever was the last-minute replacement for Ben McDonald in yesterday's 5-4 loss to Montreal at West Palm Beach.
Two years ago, when he first came to camp with the Orioles, there was some sentiment to make Olson a starter, a notion that has long since been forgotten.
However, manager Frank Robinson had said he might start his late reliever in an exhibition game just to make sure he faced the opposition's best lineup. "A lot of times they come into the game late just because that's when they usually pitch and all of the regulars are out of the lineup," said Robinson.
Olson pitched three innings, his longest outing of the spring, giving up two hits, one earned run and striking out three without walking anybody. "He threw the ball good," said Robinson. McDonald was scratched because of tightness in his elbow.
* DOUBLE STRUGGLE: Bob Milacki and John Mitchell were the losing pitchers yesterday, both charged with four runs. Milacki worked six innings, Mitchell three and both struggled with their control.
Neither has been effective this spring, putting Mitchell's job and Milacki's spot in the starting rotation in jeopardy.
* UPCOMING PROBABLES: Jeff Robinson pitches against the Yankees and Dave Eiland tonight (7:35, WBAL Radio). Jose Mesa and Andy Hawkins are the scheduled starters when the teams meet tomorrow night (7:35, Ch. 2). Sunday it will be Dave Johnson against Tim Leary as the Orioles and Yankees conclude a three-game series. The two teams will meet once more, Thursday night, in a game to be televised by ESPN.