MILWAUKEE -- Glenn Davis has two souvenirs from his first American League home run. One will get a special spot in his memorabilia collection.
The other, a welt on his back, will be visible for only a short while -- but Davis will retain it in his memory bank.
Two innings after Davis hit a monster shot to lead off the second inning of yesterday's 7-2 win over Milwaukee, Cal Ripken drilled a two-run screamer just inside the leftfield foul pole to make the score 3-0. Three pitches later, right after he'd dropped a curve on the outside part of the plate, Chris Bosio drilled Davis in the upper back with a fastball.
There was no doubt in Davis' mind Bosio threw the pitch with a message attached. "I didn't like that," said Davis, who glowered at Bosio while slowly making his way to first base.
Did he say anything? "Nope," replied Davis. "He made his point and I made mine.
"I don't think there's any place in baseball for that stuff," said the first baseman. "To me, that was weak. He threw the pitch -- to Cal."
Asked if there was any special feeling about his first American League home run, Davis gave an answer that gave an indication of his high expectations.
"The first one -- and numbers 20, 30 and 40 are special," he said. "Those are the hard numbers; they can eat at you sometimes.
"I wasn't thinking about it [his first home run as an Oriole], but it's nice to get it out of the way."
Because the Brewers' fans have adopted the policy of the Wrigley Field Bleacher Bums and throw back opponents' home runs, Davis was able to get the ball. "I'm glad they did it," he said. "My wife collects home run balls that are special."
* MESA TURNS IT UP A NOTCH: Jose Mesa didn't make it through six innings, as he did in a 2-0 loss to Chicago last week, but he threw better against the Brewers than he did against the White Sox.
"I think I had better stuff because my curveball was very good," said Mesa (1-1). He had a career-high seven strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings -- and ironically they all came on fastballs.
"They were looking for the curve so I was able to pump the fastball by," said Mesa, who walked two and gave up six hits.
* THE WORKHORSE: Mike Flanagan made his fourth appearance in six games and threw the most important pitch of the game yesterday -- at least from the Orioles' vantage point.
Entering the game with runners on second and third, one out, and trying to protect a 3-2 lead, Flanagan issued a semi-intentional walk to pinch-hitter Greg Vaughn. "You can't get a double play without a runner on first," said the veteran lefthander. Willie Randolph, another pinch-hitter, then hit a ground ball to Cal Ripken, who started the double play to end the inning.
The first two batters in the seventh inning, B.J. Surhoff and Bill Spiers, both lefthanded hitters, bunted on the first pitch and were thrown out by Flanagan and second baseman Bill Ripken. "Either they figure I'm tough on lefthanders or a lousy fielder -- I'm not sure which," quipped Flanagan. He left after that, having thrown only 10 pitches while recording four outs. He has now pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings in relief.
* REMEMBERING THE BREWER BASH: The last time the Orioles helped Milwaukee open its home season was a forgettable moment in Orioles' history. It was 13 years ago that ex-Oriole pitching coach George Bamberger made his managerial debut against his former club.
That was also the series in which Eddie Murray started and finished his career as a third baseman. On April 7, 8 and 9, 1978, the Brewers clubbed the Orioles by a combined score of 40-11 -- winning 11-3, 16-3 and 13-5.
A week later the same teams played in Baltimore and the Orioles won three of four games.
* PITCHING PROBABLES: Dave Johnson (1-0, 0.00) and Jaime Navarro (0-0, 3.00) are the scheduled pitchers when the Orioles and Brewers resume their series tomorrow (7:05 p.m.). Jeff Ballard (1-1, 7.71) faces Kevin Brown in Thursday's finale (2:35 p.m.). Neither game will be televised but both will be broadcast by WBAL-AM 1090.
Barring a late switch, Jeff Robinson (0-1, 22.50) and Mesa will pitch the first two games of the weekend series against the Rangers in Baltimore. The Orioles will need a fifth starter for the first time on Sunday. Bob Milacki, currently on option to Double A Hagerstown, is likely to be promoted for that assignment.
* THIS 'N THAT: Of Sam Horn's 16 home runs with the Orioles, five have come with two men on base and two with the bases loaded.
Chris Hoiles threw out two runners trying to steal yesterday and is 3-for-4 since the season started after going 3-for-14 during the exhibition season. One of those he caught yesterday was Paul Molitor, who stole the base last Sept. 23 when Hoiles threw his shoulder out and had his season ended prematurely.