'No-hit' Alvarez baffles Birds again in White Sox shutout victory

Orioles notebook

April 02, 1992|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Glenn Davis and Mike Devereaux had two hits apiece yesterday, but the Orioles came up empty in a 4-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox at Ed Smith Stadium.

The loss ended the Orioles' three-game winning streak and dropped their Grapefruit League record to 16-9-1 with only today's game against the Philadelphia Phillies left before they head home to christen their new ballpark with tomorrow's exhibition against the New York Mets.

White Sox pitchers Donn Pall and Wilson Alvarez combined to

pitch seven innings and give up five hits, only one of them for extra bases.

Alvarez pitched three hitless innings of relief before giving up a seventh-inning bunt single to Davis. Alvarez, you may recall, pitched a no-hitter against the Orioles in his second big-league start on Aug. 11 last year.

* GOOD OLD BOY: The public relations department has determined that Rick Sutcliffe will be the oldest pitcher to start a season opener for the club. Sutcliffe, at 35 years, 9 months, is 3 months older than 1958 Opening Day starter Connie Johnson, who holds that distinction.

The rest of the Orioles rotation averages 25 years and one month.

* MORE STARTER STUFF: Sutcliffe started seven consecutive season openers, from 1983 to 1989, two for the Cleveland Indians and five for the Chicago Cubs. In those seven games, he was 4-2 with a 5.10 ERA in 42 1/3 innings, but the ERA is inflated by poor performances in the 1987 and 1988 openers (6 2/3 innings, 13 earned runs). His ERA in the other five games is 2.78.

* AND FOR THE BAD GUYS: Cleveland righthander Charles Nagy will oppose Sutcliffe Monday.

"It's a big honor and I'm looking forward to it," Nagy said. "But I don't think it will be too tough pitching the first game of the season. It will be a different atmosphere, though, because of the new stadium. There will be a lot of excitement in the air. President Bush will throw out the first ball."

Nagy, 24, was 10-15 with a 4.13 ERA last year when he was a rookie and the No. 3 starter behind Greg Swindell and Tom Candiotti. Now, as the Indians shed veterans and high salaries, Nagy is No. 1.

"He has the stuff and the character to handle the assignment," Indians manager Mike Hargrove said. "But Charles is so hard to read. He's quiet, just goes about his business."

Dave Otto will start the second game, and Jack Armstrong will be the starter in the series finale for Cleveland.

* FINAL TURN: Righthander Jose Mesa put his 20-inning scoreless streak on the line against the Phillies today as the Orioles closed their Grapefruit League schedule in Clearwater. The club returns to Baltimore tonight and plays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards tomorrow.

The team has an early evening flight, so today's 12:05 contest will be played on a 2 1/2 -hour curfew.

* OTTER UPDATE: Right-hander Gregg Olson got in an inning as the starter in the Triple-A game that ran concurrently with yesterday's exhibition game at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota.

Olson threw just 11 pitches. He gave up a hit, got a double-play grounder and recorded a strikeout. He'll probably pitch an inning in today's "A" game against the Phillies.

* HAGERSTOWN NEWS: Officials with the Single-A South Atlantic League plan to visit Hagerstown in May to see whether the city should become home to an expansion baseball team.

The city is trying to lure a South Atlantic League team to replace the Double-A Eastern League Hagerstown Suns, who are moving at the end of the 1992 season.

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