B. Ripken expected to rejoin team for trip

Orioles notebook

August 15, 1991|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Evening Sun Staff

If the aftereffects are normal, look for Bill Ripken to be activated when the Orioles start a six-game road trip tomorrow in Milwaukee.

The second baseman played the whole game and went 3-for-5 last night as Hagerstown lost to Canton in a Double A Eastern League game that went 10 innings. In the same game, Glenn Davis played six innings at first base and went 2-for-3.

"Billy will probably be here with us tomorrow, and then go with us," Orioles manager John Oates said yesterday. "There's still no timetable for Glenn. The word is that his timing is still off a little, and as far as I know he'll play up there [Hagerstown] again. I haven't been told anything different."

The Orioles are leaving for Milwaukee immediately after tonight's game. It is expected that Davis will join the club sometime during the road trip, most likely in Texas.

* JOSE, CAN YOU PITCH? The Orioles hastily summoned Jose Bautista, in addition to Jose Mesa, yesterday in order to fill a spot in the bullpen. Bautista, who pitched a scoreless ninth inning in last night's 10-2 win over Texas, probably will be here only briefly as the Orioles prepare to juggle their roster to make room for Ripken and Davis.

Mesa, getting another audition for a spot in the starting rotation, starts tonight's game in place of Roy Smith, who has been assigned bullpen duty. Bautista, who pitched at Triple A Oklahoma City (0-3, 5.29) while on loan to the Texas organization for a month, has spent most of the season with Miami (8-2, 2.71) in the Single A Florida State League.

It was because of complicated regulations concerning the 40-man roster that Bautista was brought up. He can be designated for assignment at any time, and would have to clear waivers again to be removed from the 40-man roster and returned to Miami.

The Orioles did not want to risk such a move with one of their younger pitchers at either Rochester or Hagerstown to fill an emergency role. With an off-day scheduled a week from today, it is probable that when Ripken is activated, Oates will go with 10 pitchers, possibly until the rosters are expanded Sept. 1.

* JONES LEAVES -- TEMPORARILY? To make room for Mesa and Bautista, the Orioles have returned righthander Stacy Jones to Rochester and placed Mark Williamson on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle in his left side.

Jones started the second game of Tuesday night's doubleheader against Texas and gave up four runs in three innings. He previously had performed in relief, the role he appears destined to fill in the future.

"I'll be [back] here," said Jones as he packed his bag after last night's game. "I've got to get over some bumps."

* IMPROVED HOME COOKING? In the last 72 hours the Orioles VTC have won as many games at home as they had in the previous six weeks (18 games).

Since being no-hit by Chicago's Wilson Alvarez Sunday, the Orioles have won four straight at Memorial Stadium. That matches their longest winning streak of the year (June 22-25).

It also equals the number of home games they had won since July 2. The Orioles had lost 14 of their previous 18 games at home before the current win streak.

* THIS 'N THAT: Joe Orsulak had two hits last night, extending his hitting streak to 12 straight, matching his career-high. It is the longest streak by an Oriole this year.

Chito Martinez has the highest batting average (.327) among American League rookies with at least 100 at-bats. He also has seven home runs, one less than Leo Gomez, who is tied for the league lead (with Cleveland's Mark Whiten) among AL rookies.

The Orioles lead the major leagues with 278 relief appearances, a pace that would shatter existing AL (378 by Kansas City in 1965) and major-league (392 by Cincinnati in 1987) records. The 13 pitchers used in the doubleheader Tuesday night is an AL record and matches the major-league mark (Milwaukee Braves, 1963 and San Diego, 1977).

After losing six of their first seven, the Orioles are 5-6 on the current homestand. The Orioles are 6-2 against the Rangers, the only Western Division team against whom they have a winning record.

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