BOSTON — McLemore produces the bases for a good decision
Pinch-hit double sparks 3-run rally
BOSTON -- So far, utility man Mark McLemore has given the Orioles no reason to regret the decision that cost Juan Bell a place on the team's 25-man roster.
McLemore delivered a two-out pinch double off the left-field wall yesterday to spark a three-run rally in the seventh inning. The Orioles were beaten by the Boston Red Sox, 6-5, but not before they showed that the inning isn't over when they get to the bottom of the batting order.
The double was the first of three straight run-scoring hits off Red Sox reliever Peter Hoy, who also surrendered a double to Brady Anderson and a single to Joe Orsulak. McLemore went the opposite way and hit the ball off the Green Monster for his first pinch hit and first RBI as an Oriole.
"I always look to go the other way," he said. "The Monster #F doesn't have any effect on me. If I'm up right-handed in that situation, I'm still going to go the other way."
McLemore got another chance when he went to the plate representing the potential tying run after Chris Hoiles made it a one-run game with a bases-empty homer in the ninth, but he grounded out to second base against Red Sox stopper Jeff Reardon.
"I pretty much knew what he [Reardon] was going to do with me," McLemore said. "I was just trying to get on base any way I can."
So far, he has reached base three times in seven plate appearances for the Orioles.
Cal's tough day
Shortstop Cal Ripken had a rare multi-error performance yesterday, missing the ground ball that brought home the first Red Sox run in the third inning and getting a second error when first baseman Randy Milligan couldn't handle his one-hop throw in the seventh.
Ripken most recently had made two errors in a game last May 24 against the New York Yankees at Memorial Stadium. Before that, he had gone nearly four years without making two in a game (June 14, 1987).
It was a difficult day all around for Ripken, who went hitless in four at-bats to drop his average to .138.
Was she, or wasn't she? It was difficult to tell for sure, but a veryMorganna-like fan sprinted onto the field yesterday and hugged Red Sox pitcher Mike Gardiner. Bill Ripken was at bat, but there was no play at the plate.
More left wingers
The Orioles will face left-handed starters in each of their next three games, beginning with tonight's series finale against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Joe Hesketh will face Mike Mussina tonight, and the Detroit Tigers will and Frank Tanana in the first two games of the four-game series at Camden Yards.
Though there are far more right-handed starters in baseball, the Orioles have yet to face right-handers back-to-back this season.
Orioles officials met yesterday with American League supervisor of umpires Marty Springstead to put some finishing touches on the ground rules for Oriole Park. Most of the rules were set before the April 3 exhibition game between the Orioles and New York Mets, but there still were some minor issues unresolved.
Springstead said the latest involved rulings on balls that strike the beveled edge of the out-of-town scoreboard in right field. Balls that carom off that border and into the stands will be considered home runs. Balls that carom back onto the field will be in play.
Hoiles scores three
Catcher Hoiles matched a career high with three runs scored in yesterday's game. He singled and scored in the fifth and seventh innings before hitting his first home run of the season off Reardon in the ninth.