ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Dwight Evans made a rare start in rightfield against a righthanded pitcher yesterday, but the only significance was the veteran's spring training schedule.
"He's not making the road trips [to Port Charlotte tomorrow and Bradenton on Thursday], and I wanted him to play three straight games," said Orioles manager John Oates. "He'll be the designated hitter tomorrow [today against the Philadelphia Phillies at Al Lang Stadium]."
Evans has started the past two games in rightfield. "It feels a little strange facing game pitching again," he said. "The outfield is no problem, just getting used to seeing the ball again under game conditions."
After collecting two hits in each of the intrasquad games before the Orioles left Sarasota, Evans is looking for his first hit in exhibition play. He is 0-for-5 in his two starts.
* LEWISES IMPRESSIVE: For the first time in four games, the starters didn't command most of the attention among the Orioles' pitchers yesterday in an 8-4 win over the Chicago White Sox.
Richie Lewis, a righthander obtained from the Montreal Expos late last year for Chris Myers, pitched two perfect innings, striking out three. He and Myers were both No. 1 selections in the 1987 draft.
Jim Lewis, another righthander, who came from the San Diego Padres in the Craig Worthington trade, picked up his second save by working 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
Both Lewises are legitimate candidates if there's any room on the big-league staff.
* STILL BUNTING: Mike Devereaux, whom the Orioles would like to drop out of the leadoff spot to take advantage of his RBI potential, hit fifth yesterday against Chicago righthander Alex Fernandez.
In his first at-bat, Devereaux bunted, and reached second base when Fernandez made a two-base throwing error.
* IN THE SWING: The big hit in yesterday's game was delivered by David Segui, who had a bases-loaded triple to left-center field to break a 4-4 tie in the seventh inning.
The other offensive contributors were Glenn Davis, who hit a monster home run and drove in a run with an infield grounder, and Luis Mercedes, who had two hits, a sacrifice, a stolen base and run scored.
As he did a year ago, Mercedes continues to get on base. If his defense weren't such an uncertainty, he'd be a lock to make the team.
* 4 AND O: The last time (1963) the Orioles opened the exhibition season with four straight wins, Oates was 17, Cal Ripken Sr. was the player-manager at Aberdeen, S.D., Earl Weaver was more than five years away from becoming Orioles manager, and 30 of the 40 players on the major-league roster were not born.
The fastest exhibition start in club histo ry, five straight wins, was recorded in 1954, the Orioles' first year.
* HAIR, HAIR: In addition to his fastball, curve and changeup, reliever Gregg Olson is working on getting a beard in shape this spring.
"He's started that thing two or three times," said Oates, who said during the winter that he wouldn't mind Olson's joining Rick Sutcliffe as a bearded member of the pitching staff. "He's got that baby face. It would make him look meaner."
Olson said he can't make up his mind whether he's growing a beard or a Fu Manchu mustache. "They said the one I had last year was ugly," he said. "Maybe I'll let it grow until the Fu Manchu fills out, then shave the beard off."