With Brady Anderson excelling at the top of the lineup, Mike Devereaux had batted fifth in every game he had started this season to take advantage of his power.
Until last night.
With Eric King on the mound for the Detroit Tigers, Orioles manager Johnny Oates shifted Devereaux to the No. 2 spot.
"We haven't had a lot of success against [King], and I put Devo up there just because of the personnel we have out there. This is the best lineup under the circumstances," Oates said.
The move paid off. Devereaux went 3-for-5, including a triple and a home run.
Oates wanted Sam Horn and Chito Martinez in the game against King and did not want Randy Milligan hitting second.
The change was OK with Devereaux, who said, "No way I'm going to be disappointed. [Oates'] job is to put the best team on the field as he sees it. If second is where I'm suited best, so be it."
Devereaux hit second on occasion in 1991; he batted leadoff 128 times.
"As long as I'm not in the No. 10 slot, I'm happy," he said. "If Brady gets on a lot, I'll do whatever it takes to get him over."
Devereaux was in an 0-for-12 skid in the No. 5 spot, before going 4-for-11 in the first three games against the Tigers.
"I haven't done that well," he said, "but I think I'm comfortable there."
* WAREHOUSE ROSTER: Ex-Oriole Mickey Tettleton said Horn, Mo Vaughn and Phil Plantier are his choices to be the first to hit the warehouse at Oriole Park on the fly. Tettleton hit a 406-foot home run off Ben McDonald last night that landed 26 feet short of the warehouse.
"I'd say they're legitimate candidates," said Tettleton, who on Sunday became the first player to homer to right.
Tettleton's impressions of the new park are vivid.
"There is a great hitting background and it's a beautiful park, something to be proud of," he said. "But the grass is higher than it is at Tiger Stadium, and that's awfully hard to do."
He said the warehouse makes the rightfield fence look short. "It seems fairly close, but it isn't," said Tettleton, who cleared the rightfield roof at Tiger Stadium twice in one week last year.
"At Tiger Stadium, you really have to hit it high to do that," he said. "Here, you can hit the ball more on a line and make the warehouse."
* SNEAK PEEK: The Rochester Red Wings, the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate, worked out at Oriole Park yesterday en route to a series in Richmond, Va., and manager Jerry Narron was grateful for the opportunity.
"The major thing is it gave us a chance to work out somewhere," Narron said. "There's been a lot of bad weather in Rochester. The place is beautiful. It looks like it's been here forever."
After being introduced and watching last night's game, the Red Wings prepared for a bus trip.
One of their biggest thrills was Saturday, when they were rained out at home and tuned in the Orioles game on cable.
"We were all sitting around and everybody was yelling at Tack [Jeff Tackett] about how to hit," Narron said. "Then he homered and the place went crazy."
The team sent a congratulatory fax to Tackett.
* DAVIS STAYS BEHIND: Pitcher Jim Poole will go on the nine-game trip with the Orioles, which starts today, but the other disabled players, Glenn Davis and Mark Williamson, are staying behind.
"Glenn will join the team when he can swing the bat," Oates said. "He'll let us know when that is."
Poole (shoulder tendinitis) is scheduled to throw tomorrow. Williamson (inflamed elbow) will continue to undergo treatment.
* TWO IN A ROW: Jose Mesa will start tonight at Kansas City and Saturday at New York, then will miss another turn.
"The third one falls on an off day," Oates said.
The swing man in the rotation, Mesa made one start, pitching 5 1/3 good innings in a 3-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.