Multiple HR streak gone with wind

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

April 12, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

DETROIT -- A stiff wind managed to accomplish yesterday what no American League pitching staff could do by itself in the season's first week. It kept the Orioles from clearing the fences twice in one game.

The Orioles had two home runs in each of their first five games, but had to settle for a triple, a double and nine singles in a 7-4 victory over Detroit in the opener of a three-game series at Tiger Stadium.

Two cracks of Mike Devereaux's bat suggested to the naked eye the streak would endure.

Devereaux flied to the warning track in right in the third inning and again in the fourth off Detroit losing pitcher Tim Belcher.

"Both of them, both of them," Tigers manager Sparky Anderson said when asked if he thought Devereaux had cleared the fences for what would have been his fourth and fifth home runs. "Those two don't ever come back on a normal day. Forget a hot day, just a normal day."

Devereaux viewed them in similar fashion.

"The first one, I thought it definitely had enough to get out on any day," he said. "But I was wrong . . . That's the worst, when you think you've got one and you don't."

The twin powers for the Orioles in the first five games: Devereaux and Rafael Palmeiro; Palmeiro and Harold Baines; Jeffrey Hammonds and Devereaux; Devereaux and Chris Hoiles; Palmeiro and Hammonds.

No place like home

Orioles third baseman Chris Sabo spent six years in the National League and never had the opportunity to play at his hometown ballpark until yesterday. A native of Detroit, Sabo spent many days and nights as a spectator at Tiger Stadium, but made his playing debut there wearing an Orioles uniform. He was scheduled to play three high school games at Tiger Stadium, but all three were rained out. "It's a nice place to play," Sabo said. "I liked it."

Sabo singled twice, drove in a run and flied out to the warning track in left field. He left tickets for 30 friends and relatives.

"I could have gotten more, but that's the most I would ever get," Sabo said. "That's enough. I'm not in the ticket business."

Fernandez on mound tonight

Left-hander Sid Fernandez will make his Orioles debut Sunday at The Ballpark in Arlington, the Texas Rangers' new stadium, provided he makes it out of tonight's scheduled Triple-A start for Rochester at Scranton, Pa., without a setback.

"I'm just anxious to get him back," Orioles pitching coach Dick Bosman said. "He threw to me in the pen the other day, and he was outstanding. It's just a matter of getting him a little sharper. Hand him the ball and let's go out there. This guy knows how to pitch."

Pitching for Single-A Albany, Fernandez threw three no-hit innings in his first injury rehabilitation start.

All indications are the case of bursitis that shut him down early in spring training has cleared up.

Fernandez, 31, has a 98-71 career record and a 3.15 ERA in parts of 11 seasons in the National League. Tonight will be his 10th injury-rehabilitation start in the past four years.

In 1991, he missed the season's first three months with a fractured wrist. He also suffered from knee problems that year. Torn knee cartilage, an injury suffered while he was covering first base, put him back on the disabled list last season.

A 10th Oriole bats

Pinch hitting for Sabo in the eighth, utility infielder Tim Hulett became the first member of the Orioles other than the nine regulars to bat in a game. Hulett flied to left.

Reserve outfielder/DH Lonnie Smith, utility man Jack Voigt and third baseman Leo Gomez are the only Orioles who have not appeared in a game. Smith figures to spell Baines at DH against some left-handers, but only right-handed starters have faced the Orioles so far.

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