The scoring on Mills: All or nothing

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

May 01, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

SEATTLE -- So far this season, Alan Mills has been to relief pitchers what Mike Devereaux has been to hitters, an all or nothing player.

Mills, who gave up the game-winning home run to Seattle's Jay Buhner in the eighth inning of Friday night's 5-4 loss to the Mariners at the Kingdome, has given up five home runs in his first 6 2/3 innings. He also has struck out 12, walked four and allowed 12 hits.

Devereaux has homered four times and driven in 10 runs in his first 66 at-bats. He also has struck out 24 times. If Devereaux ever faced Mills, the odds of one of two things happening would be high.

Going into the season, Mills had allowed one home run every 11 innings. "Most of the home runs I've given up the location hasn't been good," Mills said. "Sometimes in the past I would throw bad pitches, and they would miss it or swing through it. Right now they aren't missing it."

Mills (0-1), who struck out the three batters in the inning, took a 17.55 ERA out of the appearance.

Palmeiro wraps up career April

Rafael Palmeiro moved into a four-way tie for the American League home run lead with eight after Friday's game. Palmeiro, batting .348, drove his RBI total to 18 with the home run off Seattle left-hander Greg Hibbard. A year ago, Palmeiro hit only two of his 37 home runs off left-handers. Four of his eight this season have come against lefties.

Last April, Palmeiro batted .183 with one home run and eight RBIs for the Texas Rangers. His April career totals coming into this season (.279, 13 home runs, 67 RBIs) were the worst of any month.

"What people don't realize is I had an operation in spring training last year," Palmeiro said of having his tonsils removed. "I lost 15 pounds and I came back and played the last five games of spring training. I didn't have much of an April at all because I was recuperating at the same time I was playing."

Adding this season's April to the last five months of last season would give Palmeiro a .318 average, 44 home runs and 115 RBIs, Most Valuable Player numbers.

Palmeiro did not start last night's game because Seattle left-hander Randy Johnson started. Palmeiro is 1-for-17 against Johnson.

Was he tempted to play, considering the streak he is on?

"No, not really," Palmeiro said. "It's better for me not to. He's the kind of pitcher who can mess you up for a while. He's that good."

Hammonds hurt

Orioles right fielder Jeffrey Hammonds came out of last night's game after a first-inning collision at home plate with Seattle catcher Bill Haselman.

Hammonds bowled over Haselman with a body block, but did not jar the ball loose from the catcher and was called out after the perfect, one-hop throw from right fielder Jay Buhner. Hammonds, who banged heads with Haselman on the play, suffered two small lacerations to the face that required stitches. Lonnie Smith replaced Hammonds in right.

On 2nd thought, Brady's in left

Oates originally had planned to stack the lineup against Johnson with nine right-handed hitters, but decided to leave Brady Anderson in left field and the leadoff spot.

"I figure it will be a low-scoring ballgame, and I want as much defense as I can get out there," Oates said.

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