On bumpy road, A's try to take home win

April 26, 1994|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Sun Staff Writer

Neither the Orioles nor the Oakland Athletics should have lacked motivation for their series finale at Camden Yards this afternoon.

There was little doubt, however, that the visitors felt more of a sense of urgency. The A's had not won a game since leaving home a week ago last Sunday and were carrying the baggage of a seven-game losing streak that spanned three East Coast cities -- Boston, New York and Baltimore.

Compared to that predicament, the task facing the Orioles seemed menial. While the A's were trying to avoid an 0-for-8 blanking on the road, the Orioles were looking to wrap up an eight-game homestand with a winning record.

When the A's embarked on their road trip, they did so with a 7-5 record that was good enough for first place in the AL West. But they were swept in three-game series by the Red Sox and Yankees and were outlasted by the Orioles, 8-6, last night.

After losing two of three to the California Angels, the Orioles reversed those numbers against the Seattle Mariners and last night's win left them with a 4-3 record during the homestand that concludes today.

The Orioles were leaving immediately after the game for a coast-to-coast excursion of their own. They will play two games in California, three in Seattle and two in Oakland before returning home a week from Friday for a pair of three-game series, against Cleveland and Toronto.

Orioles left-hander Arthur Rhodes (0-3, 10.95) was to make his fourth attempt for his first win this afternoon. He was to be opposed by Bobby Witt (1-1, 7.66), who has been victimized by the long ball in his previous four starts, allowing five home runs in 22 1/3 innings.

It was uncertain whether the A's would have the use of outfielder Rickey Henderson or first baseman Mark McGwire for the last game of their trip. Neither was in the starting lineup last night, but both made pinch-hitting appearances in the eighth inning. Henderson is nursing a sore knee, while McGwire has been restricted by a heel injury.

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