NEW YORK -- Newcomer Chito Martinez had to borrow a bat to make his major-league debut Friday night, but he had his own supply yesterday, and it showed.
His bats arrived from Rochester in the morning and he put one of them to good use, hitting safely in his first two at-bats and driving in the first run of the game for the Baltimore Orioles.
Martinez was on a tear when he left the Rochester Red Wings on Friday, but he seemed uncomfortable at the plate in a 1-for-5 performance for the Orioles later that night. Perhaps it was because he was using a bat that was an inch longer than the one he used to hit 20 home runs at the Class AAA level.
He used tape to build up the handle, but left six runners on base in his first three at-bats Friday night. Yesterday, he doubled in his first at-bat against New York Yankees starter Scott Sanderson, then fought back from an 0-2 count to deliver an RBI single in the fourth.
In his first two games in the starting lineup, he has three hits in nine at-bats. That's more hits than fellow rookie Juan Bell had in the first six weeks of the season.
Left-hander Kevin Hickey was disappointed in his performance after giving up hits to four of the five left-handed hitters he faced in the eighth inning yesterday.
"I didn't have a clue," he said. "That was the most clueless I have ever been in my life."
Up to just a week ago, Hickey had not allowed an inherited runner to score in 15 appearances, but he has struggled to pitch effectively in four of his past five appearances.
He was charged with five earned runs yesterday, running his ERA up to a frightening 9.00. He has been scored upon in eight of 19 appearances.
"It's tough giving up that many runs in one inning," he said. "I've only got about 13 innings [actually, 14], so it [the ERA] really looks bad."
Orioles vs. All-Stars
The Orioles have a 2-8 record against the pitchers who will represent the American League in the All-Star Game on Tuesday.
Sanderson owns one of the eight victories over the Orioles, but he gave up five runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings yesterday and came away with a no-decision.
Hoiles leads catchers
Orioles catcher Chris Hoiles leads AL catchers in percentage of runners caught stealing (minimum 20 attempts). Hoiles has thrown out 15 of 31 runners attempting steal (.484). Former Orioles catcher Jamie Quirk, now with the Oakland Athletics, is second, with a .451 percentage. The Kansas City Royals' Mike Macfarlane (.441), the Seattle Mariners' Dave Valle (.439) and the California Angels' Lance Parrish (.413) complete the top five.
With his second home run of the series, Sam Horn has homered once for every 12.6 at-bats this year. That's the best ratio in the AL. . . . The Orioles bullpen has worked an AL-high 279 1/3 innings this year. Yesterday's game was the 49th of the year in which the Orioles bullpen worked 3 innings or more.