Red Wings take playoff bid down to the wire, capping...

Orioles minor-league notebook

September 06, 1992|By Patti Singer Suns limp to finish HAGERSTOWN

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Red Wings take playoff bid down to the wire, capping strong 0)

second half

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Their season has come down to two games.

The outcome of today's and tomorrow's games in Syracusagainst the Chiefs will determine whether the Rochester Red Wings finish the 144-game International League in second place, and move into the Governors' Cup playoffs, or miss by a fraction and lament a mid-season slump that left them chasing .500, not to mention the division leaders.

"If someone would have told me at the major-league All-StaGame we'd be one game out of the playoffs going into the last eight days, I would have been tickled to death," manager Jerry Narron said with one week to play.

The Red Wings staged a remarkable comeback just to put sommeaning into the second half of the season.

After going 4-23 to fall to 33-56, 9 1/2 games out of second plac(18 1/2 out of first) one game after the break, the Red Wings won 10 straight and 20 of 23 to vault into second place by 2 1/2 games Aug. 5.

They couldn't hold it and have been trying to catch Pawtuckesince Aug. 23.

Narron has followed the same pattern each year, giving everplayer plenty of chances to assert himself early in the season.

This time, the fourth-year manager stuck with Scott Meadowswho had nine RBI in 215 at-bats, and Ken Shamburg, who for a while had more RBI (25) than hits (24), but whose offense never lived up to expectations.

Narron admitted that his willingness to support slumping playermay have hurt the team, but added, "I'm learning just like the players."

* Damon Buford, who had played in 41 games going into the final weekend, had 19 stolen bases, five away from joining the league leaders. HAGERSTOWN -- A dreary final Double-A season for the Suns has ended with attendance off 30 percent, the team only 1 1/2 games from the bottom of the Eastern League and the city facing an uncertain baseball future.

A combination of five rainouts, numerous threats of rainouts, a weak team and frustration over the impending move of the franchise to Bowie undermined the gate.

Hagerstown finished with a 59-80 record, playing a half-game better on the road (30-40 to 29-40) and drew only 130,331 fans in 65 dates, an average of 2,005.

That compared with a total of 193,433 in 1991 when the team made the league playoffs after finishing fourth.

The Suns hit 11 home runs at home in 69 games and were outhomered overall, 71-32. They were outscored by nearly a run a game, 652-519, and allowed 97 runs in the

first inning.

Kent Baker

Keys set record attendance

FREDERICK

FREDERICK -- The Keys didn't fare so well on the field, XTC missing the Carolina League playoffs, but a late push enabled them to break their attendance record again.

When the nationwide figures are in, Frederick is expected to rank approximately in the same position as last season, 15th, among all minor-league teams.

By drawing more than 29,000 for the final four-date series with the Prince William Cannons, the Keys finished with a record 329,592 fans, more than all Single-A teams and higher than all Double-A teams except Charlotte.

That topped their 1991 total of 318,354 and included another record, a single date 9,965, for a Saturday night doubleheader without a promotion to help.

* Rick Krivda may have cemented his bid to be the Oriolesminor-league Pitcher of the Year.

The left-hander finished with 15 consecutive shutout innings..

Kent Baker

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