Sellout streak likely to fall if rain doesn't O's makeup may bring Fernando to 33rd St.

April 22, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

Last night's steady rain preserved the Orioles' consecutive game sellout streak for another day -- but not necessarily for another game.

The rescheduling of last night's game with the Chicago White Sox for this evening at 6:05 virtually guarantees there won't be a sellout at Camden Yards for the first time since last May 22.

But it could mean Fernando Valenzuela will be pitching for the Double-A Bowie Baysox tonight at Memorial Stadium.

With about 5,000 tickets still available yesterday afternoon, it was unlikely that last night's game would have sold out, even if the weather had been favorable. Now that it has been scheduled on what would have been an off-day, the complexities involved with immediate ticket exchanges and the inconvenient starting time, tonight's game figures to end the Orioles' major-league record of 65 successive sellouts.

After the rainout, manager Johnny Oates said Rick Sutcliffe would start tonight, but that Sutcliffe and Valenzuela would flip-flop their starts in Chicago next week.

Valenzuela was scheduled to pitch in an exhibition game between the Orioles and their Triple-A farm club in Rochester tonight, but that game was scrubbed because of the rescheduling of last night's game.

Provided the necessary paperwork can be completed, Valenzuela will pitch for Bowie tonight at Memorial Stadium.

"That would be the first positive thing to come from having your Double-A team playing in the same city," said Oates. "He'd have enough time to get up there [Memorial Stadium] and still get back in time to catch our plane."

Valenzuela is on the Rochester roster, however, and since he is not on an injury rehabilitation assignment he'd have to be reassigned before he could pitch for Bowie.

Originally, Sutcliffe was scheduled to pitch Monday night in Chicago, with Valenzuela starting Tuesday night against the White Sox.

But last night's rainout pushed Sutcliffe back a day, necessitating an adjustment.

"The bad thing about it is that it messes Fernando up a little bit," said Oates. "He had to pitch on three days' rest the last time [when he pitched for Rochester at Richmond on Saturday] to get on this schedule, now he'll have to do it again.

"I don't think it'll be a problem if we cut back his pitch limit and he just goes a few innings. He's on schedule to pitch tomorrow [today], so that's not a problem."

By the time he left the clubhouse last night, Valenzuela was unsure about his schedule for today -- only that he'd be pitching for somebody, conditions permitting.

Jack McDowell, who was scheduled to start for the White Sox last night, will oppose Sutcliffe tonight.

The Orioles then depart on a five-game road trip to Kansas City and Chicago before returning home next Wednesday.

Arthur Rhodes, Mike Mussina and Ben McDonald are the Orioles' scheduled starters for the three games in Kansas City, with Valenzuela and Sutcliffe pitching the two games in Chicago.

If everything remains the same, Valenzuela's second start after he is officially recalled from Rochester would be a week from Saturday, against Kansas City at Camden Yards.

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