Hoiles could be close to return

Orioles notebook

August 22, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

Chris Hoiles took batting practice for the second straight time last night and could be ready to return to the lineup tomorrow night.

"He may be ready by the first of the week," manager Johnny Oates said when asked to assess Hoiles' availability. "He's swinging the bat without any difficulty, but throwing could be a little more of a problem."

Hoiles did not report any soreness after Friday night's workout, but wouldn't venture a guess as to when he would return. He hasn't played since Aug. 2, when he strained a muscle in his back while swinging in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

With 20 home runs, Hoiles is tied with Cal Ripken for the team lead inthat category. He also leads the team with a .403 on-base percentage and ranks fourth with 55 RBI.

Olson steps it up

Gregg Olson also reported progress yesterday after throwing softly in the outfield for the second straight day. The closer is on the disabled list with ligament damage to his right elbow.

"I stepped it up a bit and it felt great," said Olson. "I stretched out to about 100 feet, worked on my mechanics and everything was good."

Mussina reports no problems

Mike Mussina said he had no difficulties yesterday after making his first major-league start in almost a month Friday night. "Everything is fine -- he reported no discomfort," said pitching coach Dick Bosman.

After allowing six hits and three earned runs in six-plus innings (he gave up two hits in the seventh), Mussina said he felt good, but notquite at full strength. "Physically I was fine, but obviously my stamina is a little low," he said.

"It will take a couple more starts to get back into a groove," said Mussina, whose next start will be Wednesday night against the Angels.

Ripken reaches 20

Ripken's three-run homer in the fourth inning Friday night was his 20th home run of the season, the 11th time in his 12 year-career he has reached that figure. Last year, when he hit 14, was the only season that Ripken fell shy of the 20 mark.

Going into last night's game, Ripken had 74 RBI, two more than he had all last season. At his current pace, Ripken would finish with 27 home runs and 98 RBI.

Ryan draws early birds

Nolan Ryan's final appearance in Baltimore evoked an unusual response from fans seeking tickets.

The Orioles reported that fans began lining up 7:30 yesterday BTC morning to buy 275 standing-room only tickets that didn't go on sale until 5 p.m.

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