NEW YORK -- Each day seems to bring a new saga to the 1991 chapter of Cal Ripken's career.
The American League announced yesterday that the Orioles' perennial All-Star shortstop has been named Player of the Month. The day before Ripken was named co-Player of the Week.
This is only the second time Ripken has won the AL's monthly honor, and those touting him for this year's MVP award will find an interesting omen. The only other time Ripken was the Player of the Month was in September 1983, when he ultimately was named the league's MVP.
Ripken hit .349 (37-106) in September, with eight home runs and 29 runs batted in, including 11 RBIs in three games against Detroit last weekend. He is the first Oriole to win a monthly honor since Jeff Ballard was named the league's top pitcher in April 1989, and the first position player to be honored since Eddie Murray in May 1984.
* ROGER REMEMBERED: Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of Roger Maris' 61st home run. The Yankees commemorated the feat last night by having Maris' widow, Pat, and son, Kevin, participate in the first ball ceremony.
During the course of the game, film clips of the historic event were shown on the Yankee Stadium scoreboard.
* O'S SET DEFENSIVE RECORD: The Orioles played their 94th errorless game of the year last night, breaking the club record that had been established in 1989.
With only 87 errors, the Orioles lead the major leagues in fielding percentage (.985) and are virtually assured of becoming the first major-league team ever to make fewer than 100 errors three years in a row.
* THIS 'N THAT: More on Ripken: His streak of six straight multi-hit games was broken last night . . . He did increase his extra-base hit total to 83, four short of Robin Yount's all-time record for a shortstop, with a seven-inning double . . . He leads all major-league shortstops in putouts (260), assists (511) and total chances (782) and trails only Ozzie Smith in fielding percentage (.987 to .986).
Dwight Evans got his 10th pinch-hit in the seventh inning last night -- the most by an Oriole since Terry Crowley and Lee May both had 10 pinch-hits in 1980. The club record is very safe -- 24 by Dave Philley in 1961.
Leo Gomez hit his 16th homer of the year last night, tops among major-league rookies.