TONIGHT: McDowell returns, looking to haunt Bird hitters in Opening Day fashion

April 23, 1991|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Evening Sun Staff

CHICAGO -- If the Orioles are looking for a way to gauge their offensive progress since Opening Day they'll have the perfect measuring stick tonight (8:05, Ch. 2). They also would seem to have the right man pitching as they attempt to break a two-game losing streak.

Chicago righthander Jack McDowell (2-1, 3.48), who stifled the Orioles on four hits in the first game of the season, makes his fourth start of the year. He will be opposed by Dave Johnson (1-1, 5.23), who is working on a rather remarkable streak of his own. He is 10-0 going back to the start of last year in games he has pitched after the Orioles have lost, and already has helped snap one two-game losing streak this year.

It will be interesting to see how the Orioles react to McDowell, and vice versa, the second time around. "Having seen him

before gives you a little read about how you think he might work, what sequence he might use," manager Frank Robinson said.

"The second time out he might throw a little different, but it does give you something to go on," said Robinson. "The last time he threw a lot of forkballs. He got us to chase high fastballs, then threw the forkball. He doesn't throw the forkball that drops out of the strike zone like some other pitchers, he throws it for strikes.

"Hopefully we'll lay off the high fastball and make him come in with something better," said Robinson.

Johnson will be trying to rebound from a rough outing in Milwaukee, where a couple of bad pitches proved to be very expensive.

Johnson, whose normal turn would have been last night, will be working with an extra day of rest after having been on ready alert the last two days as the emergency backup for Ben McDonald.

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