WEEKEND: In home debut, Mussina takes another shot at Hough, Sox

August 09, 1991|By Josie Karp | Josie Karp,Evening Sun Staff

There was the news conference when he first signed, and the game Hagerstown played last summer after an Orioles contest, but, other than that, the new Orioles pitcher had not spent any time in Baltimore.

Even when the call came last week that the Orioles wanted him, it was in Chicago, not Baltimore.

But the night has finally come for Mike Mussina to make his Memorial Stadium debut, on this, the 29th to last game in the stadium that has been home to the Orioles since 1954. It will come against the same White Sox Mussina faced last Sunday in his major-league debut. Mussina (0-1, 1.17) gave up only four hits and one run in that game, but lost, 1-0, to veteran knuckleballer Charlie Hough (7-6, 3.35 ERA), the man the White Sox send to the mound tonight.

"I imagine there will probably be some of the same nerves again, since I had my debut on the road, but this is going to be at home," Mussina said.

Mussina expects a group of about 20 people, including his parents, to make the trip down from Montoursville, Pa., a 3 1/2 -hour drive from Baltimore.

"I'm going to try to keep my mind on the game and not all the other things," Mussina said. "I've been thinking about how I can improve on what I did last time. The second time around they should be better aware of what I have, and, of course, I of what they can hit."

Roy Smith (5-3, 5.05), Dave Johnson (1-3, 8.07) and Ben McDonald (5-5, 5.31) are scheduled to start for the Orioles on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Chicago will counter with Ramon Garcia (3-3, 4.99), a yet-to-be-named Sunday starter and Jack McDowell (13-6, 3.31).

An annual summer rite continues on Sunday when the Orioles and their sons and daughters battle the Orioles wives at whiffleball. Game time is noon.

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