Hulett's numbers send Gomez to bench for day

Orioles notebook

April 28, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Third baseman Leo Gomez has been one of the Orioles' most consistent hitters, but he was not in the lineup against right-hander Jack McDowell last night.

Gomez has one hit in six career at-bats against McDowell, who has not had the same kind of success against backup third baseman Tim Hulett.

"Tim is hitting .500 lifetime against McDowell," manager Johnny Oates said, "so I thought it was a good day to get Gomez a day off."

It was. After going 2-for-4 last night, Hulett has nine hits in 17 career at-bats against the White Sox starter, a .529 average.

But it was hardly a no-confidence vote for Gomez, who has hit safely in 11 of his 14 games. His .318 batting average is the highest in the Orioles' everyday lineup.

"He's swinging well," Oates said, "but I think that has something to do with who he's swinging against. I'm trying to match him up against the people he plays well against."

McLemore contributing

Second baseman/right fielder Mark McLemore's overall offensive numbers may not look spectacular, but he has delivered some big hits for the Orioles and his RBI ratio reflects that. He has six RBI in 34 at-bats, which works out to one every 5.7 at-bats. The next highest ratio belongs to Gomez, who has an RBI every 8.8 at-bats.

Decent relief

Right-hander Mark Williamson took over for struggling Rick Sutcliffe and gave up a run on four hits over 2 1/3 innings. Gregg Olson followed with his second straight scoreless appearance, but he gave up two hits and needed a double-play ball to get out of trouble.

Strange stat of the day

The Orioles dropped to 0-9 in games on Channel 2.

Fernando revisited

Fernando Valenzuela will make his Camden Yards debut on Saturday against the Kansas City Royals.

Oates said before Monday night's game that Valenzuela's start Saturday did not hinge on his performance against the White Sox on Monday.

"I thought he threw the ball well," Oates said. "He has thrown well for me every time I've seen him, except against the Blue Jays in Dunedin. Even in the game at Texas, I thought it was just a matter of overthrowing."

Hoiles drops in order

Catcher Chris Hoiles was hitting eighth yesterday, another move that Oates had no trouble backing up with statistical analysis.

"He has struck out 12 times in his last seven games," Oates said.

It's actually worse than that. Hoiles has struck out 16 times in his last 40 at-bats.

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