TONIGHT: With fourth M (Mesa) in place, Oates has rotation set for spell

August 15, 1991|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Evening Sun Staff

Orioles manager John Oates calls them the four M's -- Mesa, McDonald, Milacki and Mussina.

Did someone say Mesa, as in Jose? Yep, the 25-year-old righthander is back again, this time to join Ben McDonald, Bob Milacki and Mike Mussina in a starting rotation that Oates hopes will withstand the rigors of the season's remaining weeks.

And what if a fifth starter is needed? "We don't have anyone else whose name starts with M," Oates said, smiling.

Mesa was summoned from Triple A Rochester to start tonight against the Texas Rangers' Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd in the finale of the homestand. The Orioles will then go to Milwaukee and Texas.

Roy Smith was scheduled to work tonight, but was scratched after pitching a couple of innings in Tuesday night's doubleheader.

"As long as Mesa's healthy, he'll pitch every fifth day the rest of the year," Oates said. "He's the right fit."

Mesa would have pitched tonight for Rochester if he hadn't been recalled. He was 3-3 with a 3.86 ERA in eight games with the Red Wings, last pitching Saturday in a six-hit shutout over Richmond when he walked none and struck out nine.

Mesa's main weapon is a 90-mph fastball. His main liability is lack of control. That was one reason the Orioles sent him to Rochester June 30 after he had compiled a 4-8 record here.

Boyd, 31, once of the Boston Red Sox, is back in the American League after the Montreal Expos traded him July 21 to the Rangers for two minor-league pitchers and a player to be named. He is 0-3 with a 3.52 ERA in four starts with Texas. He was 6-8 with the Expos.

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