ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Catcher Chris Hoiles still is feeling the aftereffects of the pitch that broke his wrist in June, but you never would know it by his performance at the plate.
Hoiles hit his 17th homer of the season yesterday in the Orioles' 5-2 loss to the California Angels. He also singled in his third multi-hit game of the series.
"I don't know what it is," Hoiles said. "I'm just swinging the bat well right now. It [the wrist soreness] is still there a little bit, but some days are better than others."
Three of those better days have come in succession. Hoiles homered and singled in the series opener against the Angels. He had three hits and reached base four times in Saturday night's game. The home run yesterday was his third since he returned from the disabled list three weeks ago.
"I was hoping that it [the injury] wouldn't take away too much," he said. "When I first came back, I had some doubts. I didn't know how I would swing the bat. When I hit a home run against these guys at home, that was a lift. That helps you know that you can still do it."
Despite the injury that sidelined Hoiles for two months, the Orioles have gotten great production from their catchers. Hoiles, Jeff Tackett and Mark Parent have combined for 23 home runs and 55 RBI.
Saturday in review
The Orioles took advantage of another strong performance by right-hander Mike Mussina to score a 4-1 victory on Saturday and equal a season high with their seventh consecutive victory, but it was only good enough to maintain the status quo in the American League East.
Mussina gave up five hits over eight innings of work to improve his record to 14-5 and move into fourth place in the American League with a 2.74 ERA. Stopper Gregg Olson did the rest, pitching a hitless ninth to record his 32nd save of the year.
Hoiles contributed three hits and reached base four times. Brady Anderson doubled, walked twice, scored two runs and stole two bases. He moved into a tie for second place on the league stolen base ladder with his 47th and 48th of the year.
Angels starter Jim Abbott pitched eight innings and gave up 11 hits to drop to 6-13, a won-loss record that doesn't reflect the way he has pitched this year. Abbott entered
the game ranked fourth in the AL in ERA, but dropped to sixth at 2.84.
Saturday night's victory was not enough to boost the Orioles into first place, but it did leave them with the most road victories (41) of any major- league club and guaranteed them their first winning record on the road since 1984, when they went 41-40.
Pennington on the way?
Triple-A pitching prospect Brad Pennington is under consideration as a possible call-up after the Rochester Red Wings complete their International League schedule today, but nothing is definite.
Pennington has been on the minor-league fast track this summer, rising from Single-A to Triple-A and making a good impression at every stop.
Road trip facts
The Orioles rolled through their West Coast swing, but they lost their chance at the best road trip in club history when they lost the first game in Seattle. The best Orioles trip -- from a standpoint of winning percentage -- was a 7-0 tour of Washington, Boston and New York in 1965. Perhaps the best road trip in club history, however, was the club's 11-1 run against Detroit, New York, California, Oakland and Seattle in 1978. The Orioles went 8-0 in the three West Coast cities on that trip.
O's, Jays, Brewers down the stretch
Date O's .. .. Tor. .. Mil.
7 N.Y. .. .. at K.C. ..Cle.
8 N.Y. .. .. at K.C. ..Cle.
9 N.Y. .. .. at K.C. ..Cle.
10 Off .. .. at Tex. ..Off
11 Mil. .... at Tex. ..at O's
12 Mil. .. ..at Tex. ..at O's
13 Mil. .. ..at Tex. ..at O's
14 K.C. .. ..Cle. .. ..at Bos.
15 K.C. .. ..Cle. .. ..at Bos.
16 K.C. .. ..Cle. .. ..at Bos.
17 Off .. .. Cle. .. ..at Bos.
at Mil.. .Tex. .. ..O's
19 at Mil. ..Tex. .. ..O's
20 at Mil. ..Tex. .. ..O's
21 at Mil. ..Off .. .. O's
22 Tor. .. ..at O's .. Cal.
23 Tor. .. ..at O's .. Cal.
24 Tor. .. ..at O's .. Cal.
25 Bos. .. ..at N.Y.. Oak.
26 Bos. .. ..at N.Y. ..Oak.
27 Bos. .. ..at N.Y. ..Oak.
28 Bos. .. ..Off .. .. Off
29 at Det. .. Bos. .. at Sea.
at Det. .. Bos. .. at Sea.
1 at Cle. .. Off.. .. at Sea.
at Cle. .. Det.. .. at Oak.
at Cle. .. Det.. .. at Oak.
at Cle. .. Det.. ..at Oak.