Johnson goes quietly from rotation to bullpenMILWAUKEE...

Orioles notes

August 19, 1991|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Sun Staff Correspondent

MILWAUKEE — Johnson goes quietly from rotation to bullpen

MILWAUKEE -- Pitcher Dave Johnson accepted his removal from the Baltimore Orioles rotation without rancor. What else could he do?

"I said a few weeks ago that it was time to put up or shut up," Johnson said. "It's time to shut up."

Johnson had hoped to salvage something from this frustrating season during the final seven weeks. Now, he just has to hope that he doesn't end up on the waiver wire.

He is 3-4 with an 8.56 ERA. He had pitched 9 2/3 innings and given up 13 runs in his past three starts, so it was tough to argue when the club decided to move minor-league prospect Arthur Rhodes into the fifth spot in the rotation.

Bill Ripken rolled

Second baseman Bill Ripken was in the starting lineup yesterday for the first time since he went on the disabled list July 16 with a strained muscle in his rib cage, but the Milwaukee Brewers didn't exactly not treat him with kid gloves.

He was bowled over twice by hard slides in the sixth inning, as Brewers runners broke up a pair of potential double plays.

It was not Ripken's first appearance since he was activated. He played the late innings of Saturday night's game.

Martinez Player of Week?

Rookie Chito Martinez has to be a strong candidate for American League Player of the Week after appearing in seven games and batting .462 (12-for-26) with three doubles, four home runs and nine RBI.

He hit safely in six straight games before ending the streak with an 0-for-4 performance yesterday.

The last Oriole to win Player of the Week honors was Randy Milligan, who batted .481 with three homers and 10 RBI June 24-30.

Pinch hitter par excellence

Dwight Evans delivered his eighth pinch hit of the year in the ninth inning to raise his pinch-hit average to .500 (8-for-16). He has five hits and two walks in his past nine pinch-hit appearances.

Melvin misses a start

Catcher Bob Melvin was not in the starting lineup for yesterday's game, though X-rays on his bruised hand were negative and he made a late-inning appearance Saturday night.

"He's sore, but he's playable," manager John Oates said.

Orsulak extends streak . . .

Left fielder Joe Orsulak needed his final at-bat yesterday to extend his career-high hitting streak to 16 games.

He singled with two out in the seventh inning off Brewers starter Bill Wegman to keep the streak alive.

He is batting .419 (26-for-62) during the streak.

. . . and adds an assist

Orsulak made a fine running catch in the third inning of Saturday night's game and then threw to first base to double up Bill Spiers and record his 13th assist of the year.

That assist tied him with the Montreal Expos' Marquis Grissom for the major-league lead among outfielders.

Not a day for rookies

Rookies Leo Gomez, Martinez, Juan Bell and David Segui entered yesterday's game batting a combined .321 over the previous seven games with eight homers and 22 RBI. Martinez and Segui played yesterday and were a combined 1-for-8.

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