Mussina starts on road back Orioles ace pitches two painless innings for Baysox

August 11, 1993|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

Mike Mussina strode into an interview room to face the cameras, microphones and note pads and said he was pleased with his night's work.

It had not been much. Mussina, the Orioles right-hander who's recuperating from a strained muscle below his right shoulder blade, went the first two innings in the Bowie Baysox's 9-8 win over the Canton-Akron Indians last night and gave up two runs in two innings. The Memorial Stadium crowd of 12,460 was a Baysox record.

The Orioles put a 50-pitch limit on the first start of his rehabilitation assignment. After two innings, he had thrown 45 pitches, and didn't come out for the third.

His line: two innings, two hits, two earned runs, one walk and one strikeout. He faced 21 batters and threw 16 balls and 29 strikes.

"I'm pleased," Mussina said. "The object is to get back and feel healthy. I threw hard, used all my pitches and had no discomfort or pain. I hadn't pitched competitively in two weeks.

"I threw my curve for strikes. I threw fastballs over the outside corner, although all of them weren't called strikes. I didn't expect to be 100 percent. If I'm a little sore in the morning, it's nothing to worry about."

Mussina's next Bowie start will be Sunday against the Harrisburg Senators at Memorial Stadium.

"I'll try to throw 80 pitches and boost my innings to three after this two-inning performance," Mussina said with a touch of sarcasm. "Really, I'll hope to go five or six."

If all goes well then, the plan is for Mussina to rejoin the Orioles when they return from their road trip Aug. 20 for the opener of a four-game series with the Texas Rangers.

"I feel close to the point where I go back to the club," Mussina said.

Mussina gave up a run in the first inning when leadoff batter Omar Ramirez sent a 2-and-0 pitch whistling into the left-field corner for a triple and scored on a passed ball.

"That was a 2-and-0 changeup, and I'm glad I threw it over the plate," Mussina said. "He hit it where somebody wasn't. No big deal. It gave me the opportunity to work out of the stretch."

Canton made it 2-0 in the second inning on a pair of singles, a walk and left fielder Patrick Lennon's error.

Before the game, Baysox manager Don Buford said: "We just want him to throw strikes and take a step toward getting in the best condition."

Said pitching coach John O'Donoghue: "We want him to throw healthy, without pain or repercussions."

Mussina said he accomplished all of the above.

He had observed his usual pregame ritual, but this time it was under the eye of Bowie trainer Mitch Bibb.

"Heat pack, ultrasound and a light stretch to loosen up," Bibb said. "After he pitches, ice for about 20 minutes."

NOTES: Bowie's Jim Dedrick was on the mound warming up as Mussina's replacement when he was suddenly yanked. His name had been left off the lineup card given to the umpires. Chuck Ricci came on instead. . . . Baltimore Bays coach Kevin Healey and some of his players will conduct a soccer clinic at 6 p.m. before Friday's game against the Reading Phillies. Youngsters 14 and under will be admitted free to the game as well as the clinic. . . . Baysox outfielder Jason Alstead was promoted to Triple-A Rochester as a reinforcement for the injury-riddled Red Wings. Alstead was batting .298, including .377 in his past 16 games, with nine steals and 15 runs scored. On the Red Wings' roster, he replaces Randy Ready, who was picked up by the Montreal Expos. . . . Bowie pitcher Terry Farrar was named Orioles Minor League Pitcher of the Month for July on the strength of his 4-1 record and 1.65 ERA in six starts.

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