Oates tries to clean up with Devereaux No. 4

Orioles notebook

April 27, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Manager Johnny Oates has tried to be patient with his struggling lineup, but he could not stand by any longer.

He juggled the batting order last night in an attempt to pump some life into an offense that has the lowest scoring average in the American League.

Center fielder Mike Devereaux, who had come back from a slow start to put together consecutive three-hit performances in Kansas City, was moved to the cleanup spot for last night's series opener against the Chicago White Sox.

Right fielder Luis Mercedes took his place in the second slot.

The moves had little effect, although Mercedes walked and laid down a sacrifice bunt. Devereaux went 0-for-4.

"I'm looking for some runs," Oates said. "We're getting our hits, but we need somebody busting the ball with people on base. That's the answer."

The Orioles have gotten runners on base. They have had plenty of runners in scoring position.

It is the club's performance in clutch situations that has Oates scratching his head. The team batting average with runners in scoring position was .218 going into last night's game. It was .156 with runners in scoring position and two out.

First baseman Glenn Davis, who had been batting cleanup against left-handers, moved back to fifth.Chris Hoiles and Leo Gomez also were pushed back a notch.

No contract talk

Devereaux said during spring training that he was negotiating with the team on a long-term contract, but he has had little to say about the subject since.

"It's something I don't want to talk about during the season," Devereaux said, "but it's not dormant. That's all I want to say."

White Sox bring up Jones

The White Sox purchased the contract of relief pitcher Barry Jones from the Triple-A Nashville Sounds and placed reliever Terry Leach on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his right elbow.

McRae's complaint

Royals manager Hal McRae complained repeatedly to the umpiring crew Sunday that Orioles starter Ben McDonald was not coming to a complete stop in his delivery.

McRae felt that McDonald balked when he picked Felix Jose off first base in the first inning, but the only time it was called was on a fourth-inning pitch that Wally Joyner hit into right field for a single.

"He picked Jose off because he didn't stop, and he did it several times," McRae said. "He's a guy who is easy to run on when he does stop."

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