Mussina makes pitch for Orioles history

Orioles notebook

June 06, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

Mike Mussina, who will pitch the final game of the series against the Mariners this afternoon, has an Orioles milestone within his grasp.

The right-hander will be going for his 30th career win in his 56th start. Only Mike Boddicker (53) reached that plateau in fewer starts. Hall of Famer Jim Palmer needed 60 starts before recording his 30th victory.

However, Mussina has lost only 12 times and no Orioles pitcher has ever won 30 of his first 42 decisions. The closest were Palmer, Storm Davis and Wally Bunker (30-15) and Boddicker (30-17).

Mussina (7-2) has won 14 of his past 16 decisions (20 starts) dating back to last year and has a 27-8 record in his last 48 starts. But he will have his work cut out for him this afternoon when he faces Chris Bosio (2-2, 2.59), who pitched a no-hitter against Boston earlier in the year and will be making his second start since coming off the disabled list.

Red Wings flying high in May

Left-hander John O'Donoghue and outfielder Mark Smith, both of the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings, have been named minor-league pitcher and player of the month for May by the Orioles.

O'Donoghue was 4-0 in five starts with a 2.57 ERA. Smith batted .393 (47-117) with eight doubles, four home runs and 23 RBI in 28 games.

Overall, O'Donoghue is 5-0 with a 3.14 ERA and Smith is hitting .347.

Baines' streak ends at 13

When he singled to open the second inning last night, it was the 13th straight time that Harold Baines reached base at Camden Yards. The veteran designated hitter had eight hits and four walks in his 12 previous plate appearances (April 30-May 3).

Baines tied a club record the next day in Minnesota when he reached base a 13th straight time by walking, but on his next at-bat he strained a rib cage muscle and subsequently went on the disabled list.

Baines' streak at Camden Yards came to an end last night when he grounded out to end the fourth inning.

Since returning from the DL May 27, Baines was 6-for-22 (.273) prior to last night's game. His overall overage was .322 -- but with men on base, Baines was hitting .368 (14-38), the seventh best mark in the American League.

In nine of the last 10 years, Baines has hit for a higher average with men on base than he has overall.

A slump loves company

Brady Anderson went into last night's game in a 2-for-25 tailspin that had dropped his average to a season-low .218. He opened the season with 19 hits in his first 49 at-bats (.388), but had hit only .167 (27-162) since.

Anderson wasn't the only Oriole hitter who has been struggling recently. Leo Gomez went into the game with one hit in his last 20 at-bats; Chris Hoiles was 1-for-16 after getting 17 hits in his previous 44 at-bats; and Mark McLemore was 8-for-45 in his last 11 games, dropping his average 40 points from a season-high .328.

Miscellaneous

Going into last night's game, the Mariners had neither won nor lost more than one game in a row since May 23-24, when they beat Kansas City and California in back-to-back games. For the season, the Mariners and Orioles share identical streaks -- their longest winning streak is three, the longest losing streak, four.. . . . Ticket availability for the remainder of this home stand: less than 1,000 for today's game against Seattle; for the Oakland series there are 3,500 remaining for Monday night, 2,000 for both Tuesday and Wednesday nights. . . . Of the Orioles' last 21 home runs, 19 have come with nobody on base.

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