Rain allows Mussina to get feet wet at home

Orioles notes

April 17, 1992|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

BOSTON -- Yesterday's rainout means that Orioles righthander Mike Mussina won't have to be a road warrior for the first month of the season.

Mussina, who was scheduled to pitch last night, is slated to start tomorrow afternoon against the Tigers. "He's excited to get a chance to pitch in our new park," said manager Johnny Oates. "The way it was he wouldn't have pitched at home until next month.

"Come to think of it, it was that way for him in spring training, too. I don't ever remember him pitching a game when we were home down there."

Mussina's first two innings during the exhibition season came in a home game, the pitcher recalled. "And I pitched five innings another time against the Cardinals [whose home, Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, the Orioles shared], but we were the visiting team."

In a way, pitching at Oriole Park at Camden Yards will be like an away game for Mussina. "It's a new park, a new feel," he said. "The biggest difference will be spending the night in my apartment instead of a hotel room -- and having the fans in my favor, which will be nice."

Had he not been rained out of last night's game, Mussina would have made his first four starts on the road and not pitched at home until early next month.

* MOUND MOVES: The Orioles have slightly altered their pitching rotation for the four-game series against the Tigers.

Rick Sutcliffe (1-1, 4.63) faces Scott Aldred (0-1, 27.00) tonight; Mussina (0-0, 1.59) goes against Frank Tanana (0-1, 7.80) tomorrow; Bob Milacki (0-1, 4.38) draws Walt Terrell (0-1, 4.70) on Easter Sunday and Ben McDonald (1-0, 1.84) hooks up with Eric King (1-1, 4.66) Monday night.

Jose Mesa, who was originally scheduled to pitch tomorrow's game, will work out of the bullpen for the next two days and make his next start Tuesday in Kansas City.

* HELPING HAND: The Orioles announced yesterday their participation in the Baltimore Baseball League, an amateur program. They are helping to organize the league, which will consist of almost 500 fourth- and fifth-grade students from 24 Baltimore schools.

Ability will not be of primary consideration in this league. Participation in the nine-week season will be based on school attendance, scholastic effort and citizenship.

The league's goal is to encourage students to improve in school. Members of the Baltimore Baseball League will be invited to a future Orioles game.

Those interested in more information should contact Stacey Beckwith of the Orioles' Community Relations Department, at (410) 547-6140.

* AROUND THE HORN: The Orioles went 1-4 in a stretch of five straight day games on the road . . . They are in a stretch that calls for 15 of 19 games on the road, with nine straight after the four-game weekend series against the Detroit Tigers. . . . Starting May 1, the Orioles will play 16 of their next 21 at home.

The two-game split in Boston broke the Orioles' string of six straight losing road series, dating to last year. . . . They haven't won back-to-back games away from home since Aug. 20-21, 1991. . . . With Scott Aldred and Frank Tanana scheduled to pitch the first two games for the Tigers this weekend, the Orioles will have faced six left-handed starters in their past nine games.

Leadoff hitter Brady Anderson leads the Orioles in total bases (16) and RBIs (five) and is tied with Leo Gomez and Chris Hoiles for the lead in hits (eight) . . . Both of Mike Devereaux's RBIs have come on his club-leading two home runs.

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