TONIGHT: Rhodes, Orsulak look to record important numbers for Orioles

August 27, 1991|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Evening Sun Staff

This could be a memorable night for at least two Orioles.

Arthur Rhodes, the rookie lefthander recently recalled from Double A Hagerstown, will make his second major-league start and first at Memorial Stadium when he opposes the Toronto Blue Jays' Juan Guzman (4-2) in the second game of the three-part series.

Joe Orsulak will attempt to tie an Oriole record by hitting in his 22nd consecutive game. His 21-gamer ranks only behind Eddie Murray's string in 1982 and Doug DeCinces' streak that reached from late 1978 to early 1979.

Orsulak's streak is the third longest in the majors this season behind Brett Butler (23) of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Brian McRae (22) of the Kansas City Royals. During his run, Orsulak has swung a .386 bat.

"What's his track record?" batting coach Tom McCraw asked, well aware Orsulak's lifetime average is .276. "He's up to .275 now, so it's a matter of water seeking its own level."

"A streak like this is a combination of skill and luck," manager John Oates said. "It's not always how hard you hit it, but where. There have been nights when he hit a couple balls well but others when ground balls just got through the infield. You need some luck."

Rhodes had lost three straight decisions, trimming his record to 7-4, when the Orioles recalled him last week. His earned-run average of 2.70 was second in the Eastern League.

In his major-league debut, against the Texas Rangers last

Wednesday, Rhodes gave up four hits and three runs in four innings and was uncommonly wild, walking four and throwing two wild pitches.

"We knew he'd be hyper," pitching coach Al Jackson said. "He's from Texas, and he was making his first start before family and friends. He was wild. Let's hope he has calmed down."

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