Baltimore Orioles assistant general manager Frank Robinson was dispatched to Hagerstown last night to watch Glenn Davis and Bill Ripken play on rehabilitation assignment for the Class AA Suns.
What he saw was a 2-for-3 game by Davis, both singles when he was behind in the count, and a 3-for-5 game by Ripken, who also stole a base and scored a run.
Davis, who returned to the cleanup spot in the batting order, had five putouts at first base before he left the game against the Canton-Akron Indians after six innings. Ripken hit second in the lineup and played second base. Canton-Akron won the game, 5-4, in 10 innings.
After four games with the Suns, Davis is batting .286.
Manager John Oates indicated that Davis "could make the trip" when the team goes on the road tomorrow to Milwaukee.
"I haven't talked with him about it since Sunday," said Oates. "But I wouldn't be surprised to see him come in here and say he's ready."
Davis, who has been disabled since April 26, was in his fourth game for the Suns, Ripken in his first. Ripken played for CLass A Frederick on Monday night, went 1-for-4, then sat out Tuesday night with soreness in the rib-cage area.
Evans will have role
Oates addressed the issue of Dwight Evans' return next year with a mixed approach.
"If something were to come along that would improve the Orioles and be an advantage for his career, I think it would be a great move," said Oates, referring to a potential trade.
But the manager wouldn't mind if Evans plays again for the Orioles.
"I can see Dwight Evans playing a very important role for this club next year," he said. "It's going to be a young ball club. We need a few Ripkens and Dwight Evanses to cling to."
Evans, who has played sparingly, is hitting just .222 since leaving the disabled list July 11.
'Round, 'round, he gets around
Jose Bautista, whose contract was purchased by the Orioles yesterday, has toured America this season.
Besides spring training and a trip to Texas and Milwaukee with the Orioles, he has played everywhere in the Florida State League with the Class A Miami Miracle and such ports as Oklahoma City, Omaha, Denver, Indianapolis, Columbus Toledo and Rochester in Class AAA.
Cal Ripken came out of the game for the 12th time this season and 31st time during his consecutive games streak last night. He was replaced after the seventh inning. . . . Oates said he is in no hurry to return pitcher Jeff Robinson to Baltimore. "It wouldn't be fair to bring Robinson back," he said. "We'll let the fan reaction die down first.". . . . Nolan Ryan, who has been on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, is expected to be activated to pitch against the Orioles Monday in Arlington Stadium. . . . Entering last night, Chito Martinez was the top hitter among AL rookies with at least 100 at-bats. Martinez was batting .310 or 13 points ahead of No. 2 Scott Leius of Minnesota. . . . X-rays taken on Julio Franco's bruised left heel were negative. His status with the Rangers is day-to-day. Texas has 10 disabled players and only John Russell is here with the club.