Slumping Gomez gets another shot at third

Orioles notebook

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- After sitting out the four-game series against the Chicago White Sox, Leo Gomez returned to the Orioles' lineup last night.

"We're going to try it again," manager Johnny Oates said of his slumping third baseman. "He's got some numbers against these guys, so we might as well put him out there with some guys he's had some success against."

Oates was referring to the Kansas City Royals' scheduled starting pitchers for the three-game series -- Kevin Appier, Mark Gardner and Hipolito Pichardo. Gomez went into last night's game with a .450 average (9-for-20), two home runs and four RBI against Appier -- and never faced him.

Appier was forced out of the game when he was hit on the upper right arm by a line drive off the bat of Harold Baines in the first inning.

Gomez went into last night's game with a .203 average, 10 home runs and 24 RBI. He was 0-for-24 in his past eight games and 9-for-93 (.097) in his past 27.

Tim Hulett started all four games at third base in Chicago, going 3-for-12, with two runs scored, a double and one RBI.

Rhodes only so-so in first start

Arthur Rhodes made his first start on a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Rochester on Sunday. He pitched two innings and wasn't involved in a decision as the Red Wings defeated Columbus, 6-5.

The left-hander was on a 50-60 pitch limit and used 56 while giving up two hits, three walks, striking out four and allowing three runs.

Rhodes, who had arthroscopic knee surgery May 18, will make a minimum of two more starts at Rochester and could remain there long as 30 days.

Not weak hitter in bunch

The past three teams the Orioles have played, and four of the past five, were in first place at the time they played the Orioles.

The Tigers were leading the AL East before losing three straight at Camden Yards on June 22-24. After winning two of three from the then third-place Yankees (now in second), the Orioles lost two of three on June 28-30 to the Toronto Blue Jays, who had replaced the Tigers as division leaders.

When the Orioles started this seven-game road trip in Chicago on Thursday, the White Sox had sole possession of first place in the AL West. After splitting that four-game series, the Orioles came to Kansas City, where the Royals had moved into a tie for the Western Division lead by sweeping a three-game series from the Blue Jays.

The Orioles' last four games before the All-Star break will be against the White Sox at Camden Yards this weekend.

Still bullish in AL

The Orioles' bullpen continues to lead the American League in several categories. Going into last night's game, the relievers had a 2.73 ERA, 29 saves, and had held opponents to a .222 batting average -- ranking first in all three departments.

In addition, the Orioles are third in the league with 14 relief wins. Mark Williamson has five and Todd Frohwirth has four, one more than Brad Pennington. Gregg Olson has 23 (in 26 opportunities) of the club's 29 saves.

Devo aching

Mike Devereaux reported to the park last night with a slightly upset stomach, but it wasn't severe enough to keep him out of the lineup.

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