Recovered Hulett adds to impressive starting-role numbers

Orioles notebook

June 16, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

MILWAUKEE -- Infielder Tim Hulett returned to the Orioles' lineup last night and made an immediate contribution in his first start since suffering a groin strain on June 9.

Hulett delivered a two-out single in the second inning that brought home Mike Devereaux with the first run of the game.

The veteran utility man already had made one late-inning appearance at shortstop since he suffered the strain, but manager Johnny Oates has been careful not to put him at risk of aggravating the injury.

"He told me he was ready to play, so he's in there tonight," Oates said.

His status might not seem all that significant, especially with the way the club has played in his absence, but Hulett has been a very effective fill-in starter on the infield. He is hitting .344, and has hit safely in all 14 of the games he has started this year.

The injury occurred in Hulett's first at-bat of the series finale against the A's at Camden Yards. He suffered the strain running the bases, but remained in the game for one more at-bat before admitting he could not continue.

"The second at-bat, I went up there thinking home run because I didn't want to run the bases," Hulett said. "Instead, I lined the ball into right [for a single] and it looked like that was what I was trying to do. Then I had to run on a hit-and-run and had to score from second on a base hit."

Hulett thought he had recovered sufficiently the following day to return to the lineup, but was a last-minute scratch from the series opener against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Rhodes right on schedule

Left-hander Arthur Rhodes threw for the third time Monday at County Stadium and appears to be on schedule in his recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery May 18.

"If anything, he might even be a little ahead of schedule," said trainer Jamie Reed. "He's doing very well."

The original prognosis had him sidelined from six to eight weeks. He threw off the mound for the first time three weeks after the surgery and could be sent on an injury rehabilitation assignment soon after the Orioles return home from this 10-game road trip.

Sutcliffe keeps fooling them

When Rick Sutcliffe picked Greg Vaughn off third base in the fifth inning of Tuesday night's game, it was his sixth pickoff of the year.

That ties him with teammate Fernando Valenzuela and Texas Rangers reliever Kenny Rogers for third place in the American League in successful pickoff attempts, behind Chicago White Sox ace Jack McDowell (eight) and California Angels left-hander Mark Langston (eight).

Oates on race

Oates doesn't seem concerned that the Orioles made only modest gains in the American League East standings with their great two-week run. The club gained only 2 1/2 games on the first-place Detroit Tigers during the 10-game winning streak that ended Sunday.

"It's way too early to even look at that," he said. "We just have to take care of our own business right now."

Hamilton scratched

Brewers outfielder Darryl Hamilton had to be scratched from the starting lineup after a ball bounced up in the batting cage and hit him in the eye. Milwaukee manager Phil Garner inserted Kevin Reimer in the lineup to take Hamilton's place and reshuffled the batting order.

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