Rangers huff and puff, but can't blow Olson's save this...

Orioles notebook

April 15, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

ARLINGTON, TEXAS — Rangers huff and puff, but can't blow Olson's save this time

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Reliever Gregg Olson was beginning to wonder. He had blown one save opportunity this year and he was flirting with disaster in another.

He came on to pitch the ninth inning of last night's 6-5 victory over the Texas Rangers and promptly got himself into another unsavory predicament. He gave up a leadoff double to pinch hitter Doug Dascenzo and had to get the last two outs of the game with the potential tying run at third base.

When it was over, he pumped his fist and shouted at himself, but it wasn't exactly a celebration.

"I said, 'You f , you finally got somebody out,' " Olson said. "It was beginning to seem like every bad pitch I threw was a double, except when it was a home run to Doug Strange. If you give up a double every time you throw a bad pitch, you're going to be in trouble."

His troubles started last week against the Rangers, when Strange hit a pinch home run in extra innings to defeat the Orioles in the second game of the season at Camden Yards. Then there was Sunday's game in Seattle, when he gave up a game-tying double to Seattle Mariners first baseman Tino Martinez in the ninth inning.

This time, he could not prevent pinch hitter Butch Davis from moving Dascenzo up with a sacrifice bunt, but he got David Hulse to line softly to a drawn up Cal Ripken, then got Rafael Palmeiro on a routine fly ball to left. It was his second save in three tries and it was a big victory for his struggling club.

"I was more concerned about myself," he said. "We had the lead one other time and I threw a bad pitch. I take some of the blame [for the way the club has played]. When I gave up the double, I was thinking, I'm throwing more gas on the fire and I'm not helping the team at all."

Brady swipes his second

Brady Anderson stole his second base of the season in the eighth inning and became the first player to attempt a steal against Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who led the league with a 49 percent success rate against base stealers in 1992.

Kangaroo Court

The Orioles were indicted by manager Johnny Oates after Tuesday night's game, so perhaps it was appropriate that the team went to trial yesterday afternoon.

Designated hitter Harold Baines presided over the season's first Kangaroo Court before the team took the field for the final game of the three-game series with Texas.

The struggling club can use some cheering up, but relief pitcher and longtime court clerk Olson said yesterday's session was not specifically scheduled to deal with the team's season-opening slump. It was supposed to be business as usual -- a carry-over from the positive chemistry of 1992.

"I'd like to say yes [it might help], but I don't want it to seem like we're panicking," Olson said. "We're doing what we normally would have done. This is not because we are 1-6. Court has been something that has been fun. Hopefully, it'll take everybody's mind off what's going on."

The Kangaroo Court met regularly last season, with pitcher Storm Davis presiding.

Davis became a free agent at the end of the year and signed with the Oakland Athletics, so Baines was elevated to the bench.

Sutcliffe prepared

The prospect of foul weather had right-hander Rick Sutcliffe ++ on alert status yesterday.

If the game had gotten under way and then been postponed before it was official, Sutcliffe would have been the makeup starter tonight at Arlington Stadium.

"The sooner you get out there the better off you are as far as I'm concerned," Sutcliffe said.

If that scenario had come to pass, Sutcliffe would have been pitching on normal rest.

He'll go on five days' rest when he starts the opener of the three-game series against the California Angels tomorrow night at Camden Yards.

Lost in the crowd

The Orioles were one of nine clubs to set attendance records on Opening Day last week. The club drew the biggest crowd in the brief history of Camden Yards (46,145).

The New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants drew club-record crowds, and the Chicago White Sox set a stadium record at the new Comiskey Park.

But it was the fledgling Colorado Rockies who one-upped everyone, breaking the all-time Opening Day attendance mark with a crowd of 80,227 at Mile High Stadium.

Davis gets well at plate

First baseman Glenn Davis entered the game hitting just .161, but he bounced back with a pair of two-run hits against Nolan Ryan to lead the Orioles offensive attack.

"I think Nolan was limited a little bit tonight," Davis said. "He wasn't getting his curveball over. I don't know if the weather had anything to do with that. I just got into a couple of situations where he had to come in with a fastball."

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