Orsulak sets record for outfield assists

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

BOSTON -- Left fielder Joe Orsulak threw out Boston Red Sox rookie Phil Plantier at the plate in the first inning to set a Baltimore Orioles record for outfield assists in a season.

Plantier was trying to score from first base on a double by Mo Vaughn, but Orsulak made a long one-hop throw from the left field corner for his 18th assist of the year.

That assist dropped Chuck Diering out of the club record book 37 years after he piled up 17 assists in the Orioles' inaugural season of 1954.

"I'm really proud of that," Orsulak said. "I wish I had gotten the hitting-streak record, but this is nice. It's rare that I get into the record book, so I'll enjoy it."

Orsulak's 21-game hitting streak earlier this year fell one short of the club record held by Eddie Murray and Doug DeCinces.

But Orsulak didn't stop there last night. He threw out Wade Boggs at third base in the second inning to add to his record and help starting pitcher Dave Johnson out of another jam.

Cal Sr. ejected

Third base coach Cal Ripken Sr. was ejected from the game in the fifth inning by umpire Dan Morrison, apparently for arguing balls and strikes.

Ripken barked at Morrison after Mike Devereaux was called out on strikes with a runner at second base to end the Orioles half of the fifth.

Mesa fit to pitch

Manager John Oates met with right-hander Jose Mesa to clear the air after Mesa told reporters that his arm was "80 percent" when he went to the mound Tuesday night.

"What he told me was he felt a little stiff warming up last night," Oates said, "but pitching, he felt fine. He said, 'I'm fine to pitch. I'll tell you if I'm not fine to pitch.' "

Mesa said Tuesday that he has experienced varying degrees of elbow soreness in each of the three starts he has made since returning from the disabled list.

Oates disputed Mesa's claim that he was only pitching at 80 percent of his normal arm strength.

"He was throwing 94 miles per hour," Oates said. "If that's 80 percent, that means that he'll be throwing 116 miles per hour when he's healthy. I'm looking forward to seeing that."

Greenwell outlook better

The reports of Mike Greenwell's season-ending injury on Tuesday night were greatly exaggerated. Greenwell did not suffer a serious knee injury, as previously suspected.

Greenwell underwent an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) yesterday, which showed that he suffered only a slight sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. The sore knee should improve quickly, but Greenwell did suffer a groin strain when he stumbled over first base in the third inning.

Melvin interview

Orioles assistant general manager Doug Melvin apparently will go to Florida for a second interview with the expansion South Florida Marlins.

Melvin recently met for four hours with Marlins president Carl Barger in Baltimore. He is considered to be a top candidate for the club's general manager position.

Barger has not set up the second interview, but he told reporters in Florida that he would be meeting with Melvin again.

Ripken chases records

Shortstop Cal Ripken figures to finish among the top five shortstops in extra-base hits and total bases amassed during a season.

Ripken has 75 extra-base hits, 12 behind record-holder Robin Yount. He also has 327 total bases, 11th all-time and 52 behind record-holder Ernie Banks.


The Orioles overtook the Rangers on Tuesday night to move into second place in the major leagues in home runs. They have 157. . . . 1B Glenn Davis has played in 19 major-league parks, and he has homered in 18 of them. The only AL park he has played in and not homered is the Metrodome. . . . The Orioles have the day off today in Cleveland before opening a 3-game weekend series against the Indians tomorrow at Cleveland Stadium.

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