Pennington keeps cool in a hot spotOn the biggest day of...

Orioles notebook

April 18, 1993|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Staff Writer

Pennington keeps cool in a hot spot

On the biggest day of his professional life, Orioles reliever Brad Pennington was calm when it appeared all about him was not.

That's not to say that Pennington, who made his major-league debut in the Orioles' 7-5 loss to the California Angels yesterday, wasn't fired up.

To the contrary, Pennington, who was called up Thursday from )) the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings, looked excited enough during his warm-up tosses to throw a pitch through a wall.

"That's the only way I've ever seen him," said Orioles manager Johnny Oates.

But the situation Oates thrust Pennington into in the seventh -- a 5-5 game with runners on first and third and two out and pinch hitter Luis Polonia coming to bat -- dictated that a cooler head prevail.

Pennington got Polonia to ground to short for an inning-ending force play on one pitch, though the left-hander ended up on his seat in an effort to field the grounder himself.

"Of all the situations he [Oates] could have brought me in, I'm glad he brought me in that one," said Pennington. "I didn't have time to be nervous. The job is to get people out. You don't have time to think about the way you're feeling. You have to get the job done."

In the eighth, however, Pennington suffered a brief lapse, but it was enough of a breakdown to get the loss.

Pennington led off the inning with a walk to former Oriole Rene Gonzales, then battled Angels first baseman J. T. Snow to a full count.

Pennington said he feared walking Snow and chose to throw him fastball rather than a slider.

Snow deposited the pitch into right-center for a triple that scored Gonzales with what turned out to be the winning run.

"He hit a good pitch. I had to battle him with my fastball. Now I know I have to pitch instead of throw what got me here. Sometimes, you have to pitch," said Pennington.

Designated hitter Harold Baines, who received a cortisone shot in his left knee before Friday's game, said the knee "felt better," but added he would not play today.

Meanwhile, first baseman Glenn Davis missed his first game of the season, a day game after a night game. He is expected to play today.

63 and counting

The Orioles extended their major-league record consecutive sellout streak to 63 with yesterday's crowd of 45,694 and should make it 64 today because fewer than 1,200 tickets were available at game time yesterday.

Miscellaneous

California's Chad Curtis tied an Orioles record for most steals by an opponent, with four yesterday. Rickey Henderson (June 26, 1985, at New York) and Dave Collins (Aug. 5, 1984, for Toronto at Memorial Stadium) were the others to steal four bases against the Orioles. . . . Overall, the Angels were successful in six of seven steal attempts. Before yesterday, only five of 13 base stealers had been successful against the Orioles. . . . Brady Anderson's two doubles give him the American League lead with six, vaulting him past the Seattle Mariners' Rich Amaral and Cleveland Indians' Carlos Baerga, who have five each.

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