Even with wall looming, Morgan sidesteps Horn to get to Evans

Orioles notebook

September 19, 1991|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Evening Sun Staff

BOSTON -- Red Sox manager Joe Morgan paid Sam Horn the supreme compliment last night. It came during the eighth inning, with the Red Sox nursing a 6-5 lead and righthander Dan Petry on the mound.

Cal Ripken led off with an infield hit and, with Horn coming to the plate, Morgan immediately signaled for lefthander Tim Fossas. Morgan knew that he was inviting John Oates to let Dwight Evans take aim at the friendly leftfield wall.

"I didn't want any part of Horn in that situation," said Morgan. "How many home runs does he have [21]? I was confident that Fossas could keep the ball on the ground."

Fossas did just that, using four pitches to induce Evans to hit into a double play. "He made some great pitches to Evans," said Morgan.

Evans agreed, though the veteran admitted he's been in a funk lately. "He did make some good pitches, but I'm disappointed with the way I've been swinging," he said.

"I wasn't swinging the bat good when we came in here [1-for-18]. Before that I was feeling great, then it just fell apart.

"He [Fossas] threw me a changeup on the first pitch, and I wasn't looking for that," said Evans. "Then he threw me a curveball down and in, another changeup and then he came back with a curve down and in again.

"Sometimes you just have to say he made good pitches -- but I've been saying that for a week," said Evans. "I'm going to take extra batting practice Friday and then go from there."

With Evans out of the way, Morgan elected to let the lefthanded Fossas face Glenn Davis, another dangerous confrontation. "I was just hoping he wouldn't hit a home run," said Morgan. "I wanted to get [Chito] Martinez out of the game."

Davis doubled and when Randy Milligan was announced to hit for Martinez, righthander Greg Harris came in to end the inning with a fly ball and then survived the ninth inning despite issuing a leadoff walk to Leo Gomez.

* HERE AND GONE: Dave Johnson's return to the starting rotation was neither auspicious nor optimistic as he gave us eight hits and five runs in 2 1/3 innings. With the effort, Johnson fell to 4-6 with his earned run average a lofty 7.34.

* THROWING JOE: Outfielder Joe Orsulak wrote his name in the Orioles' record book last night, throwing out rookie Phil Plantier in the first inning to record his 18th assist of the year.

Not content with dropping Chuck Diering out of the record book for the first time since the Orioles' inaugural season of 1954, Orsulak also threw out Wade Boggs at third base in the second inning. His 19 assists lead the major leagues.

* TRACKING RIP: Cal Ripken's 75 extra-base hits put him in 10th place among shortstops, one shy of his career-high. Robin Yount is the leader with 87 (1982), followed by Ernie Banks with 83 (1957).

* THIS 'N THAT: Last night was only the third time in the last 16 games that the Orioles allowed more than four runs . . . It was also the third time Luis Mercedes didn't start since being recalled from Rochester Sept. 8.

Mike Gardiner, who started for the Red Sox last night, was born and raised in Ontario and was a member of Team Canada in the 1984 Olympics . . . Of Jack Clark's 79 runs batted in for the Red Sox, 45 have come with two outs.

Ripken's home run last night was only the sixth of his career in Fenway Park, the first since 1988 . . . The Orioles are second in the major leagues with 157 home runs, are tops in the majors with 29 this month, and have homered in 10 straight games (20 total) -- their longest streak since they hit in a club-record 14 straight in 1987.

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