Hoiles 0-for-4 in cleanup duty

Orioles notebook

June 05, 1993|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Staff Writer

The Orioles' ever-expanding search for a cleanup hitter led them to Chris Hoiles last night.

The reason: Hoiles had been 4-for-8 with a home run against Seattle's Randy Johnson. And Harold Baines, who has batted fourth most often (18 times) for the Orioles this season, was not in the lineup against the left-handed Johnson.

"He [Hoiles] is the only guy we've got who's ever hit him," Orioles manager Johnny Oates said. "We don't have a whole lot of big numbers against Randy Johnson."

Hoiles went 2-for-3 and homered against Johnson April 11 in Seattle in a game the Mariners won in 12 innings, 7-6. But he was 0-for-4 last night, including 0-for-3 against Johnson.

Mike Devereaux, who also homered in that April 11 game, took only a .190 lifetime average (4-for-21) against Johnson into the game.

The Orioles have used eight different players in the cleanup spot this season, including Hoiles one game in May.

"The way I look at it, it's another number in the order," said Hoiles, who has hit fifth nine times and sixth 18 times this season. "The 3-4-5 spots are usually for big RBI guys. But there have to be guys on base to do that. And if there are, you've still got to drive them in."

Hoiles led the Orioles with eight RBI on their just-completed 10-game road trip. He has driven in 16 runs this season.

He says he likes the idea of hitting between Cal Ripken and Devereaux.

"With Cal in front of me, they may want to pitch around me," Hoiles said. "But they can't with Devo behind me. I like that protection."

Down on the farm

Rookie outfielder Sherman Obando, coming off a hamstring injury, began his minor-league rehabilitation with the Double-A Bowie Baysox last night at Memorial Stadium.

Oates said there was no timetable on how long Obando would stay there, although the limit is 20 days.

"It [depends on] how he's swinging and what we need," Oates said.

Obando went 3-for-4 in an exhibition game between Bowie and Triple-A Rochester on Thursday, but it didn't count toward his rehab time.

Power outage

Before last night's three-homer game, there had been 30 home runs hit at Camden Yards this year, 12 by the Orioles and 18 by opponents.

In only three other major-league parks had there been fewer homers hit: 27 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, 27 at Boston's Fenway Park, and 21 at Kansas City.

Knoop benefit

The Harold Baines Baseball Celebration benefiting the Kimberly Knoop Pancreas Fund will be held today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the BWI Marriott. The program includes player autographs, a baseball card show, games, auctions, attractions for kids and a visit by the Orioles' Bird mascot. Among the players joining Baines will be Mike Mussina, Harold Reynolds and Ken Griffey. Admission is $3, but children 6 and under are admitted free.

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