Rhodes gets K's, but Mariners the KO

May 02, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

SEATTLE -- Consider the positive aspect of the most recent effort by promising yet unpolished Orioles left-hander Arthur Rhodes. He pitched a game yesterday at the Kingdome similar to that of American League strikeout king Randy Johnson the night before.

Overpowering, wild, not nearly as efficient as the control-minded right-hander opposing him.

Forced out of the game early by tendinitis of the left knee, Rhodes took the loss on a day in which the Orioles' bats were anything but sleepless in Seattle.

While Rhodes did a pretty fair impersonation of a wild Johnson, Chris Bosio, Tim Davis and Bobby Ayala combined on a seven-hitter to defeat the Orioles, 6-0.

Shut out for the first time this season, the Orioles have not won a series at the Kingdome since 1989. The Orioles (15-9) lost two of the three in the series. They resume their schedule tomorrow with a two-game series at Oakland before returning to Baltimore for a six-game homestand that starts Friday, when Eddie Murray and the Cleveland Indians visit Camden Yards.

One night after Johnson struck out 11 and allowed 13 base runners in six innings in a 6-4 loss to Mike Mussina, Rhodes struck out eight, walked four and allowed six hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Like Mussina (strained groin), Rhodes left the game with a leg injury.

"I hope it doesn't affect my next start," said Rhodes, who had arthroscopic surgery on that knee last May.

Rhodes (1-4, 7.62) said he first felt pain in his knee when he struck out Ken Griffey for the second time in the fourth inning. He was taken out of the game after allowing a two-out single to Felix Fermin.

"It didn't bother me in spring training, it didn't bother me at the beginning of the season," Rhodes said. "It only bothers me when we play on AstroTurf."

Either Rhodes or Jamie Moyer will be skipped in the rotation as the Orioles take advantage of two off days this week.

Rhodes, despite allowing a two-run home run to Griffey in the first, took some positive out of the outing.

"My fastball was working, my slider was working, pretty much everything was working," Rhodes said. "My only mistake was that hanging slider to Griffey."

Rhodes had pitched a complete-game three-hitter in his previous start.

"My slider's getting better every time I go out there," Rhodes said. "I can get it over for strikes now."

Rhodes struck out Jay Buhner, Mike Blowers and Greg Pirkl in order in the third. He fanned Blowers and Pirkl on 3-2 sliders and twice struck out Griffey with fastballs.

But Bosio kept the Orioles off balance all afternoon.

"He hits his corners and changes speeds well," said Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, who still was 2-for-4. "That's the key to every pitcher basically. Hitting your spots and keeping the hitters off balance."

The Orioles were held without an extra-base hit for the first time. Bosio (1-3, 2.64) limited them to seven hits in seven innings. Left-hander Tiny Tim Davis shut out the Orioles with a 1-2-3 eighth and Bobby Ayala earned his third save, all against the Orioles, with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Davis, 23, is in his second year of pro ball and had not pitched beyond Single-A until this season. He has not been scored upon in 10 major-league appearances covering nine innings.

Bosio, Davis and Ayala combined to retire the final 13 Orioles.

The Orioles' best chance to make a game of it came in the fifth, when they loaded the bases. But designated hitter Harold Baines grounded to second for the final out.

The Orioles trailed from the outset, but never were blown out, thanks to Seattle stranding 14 base runners.

Brian Turang put Rhodes on the ropes immediately, doubling to left to lead off the first. Turang scored on Griffey's eighth home run, to right, and third off the Orioles in eight days. All three came against left-handers (Brad Pennington, Moyer, Rhodes).

Rookie Mike Oquist, making his 1994 debut, replaced Rhodes in the fifth, got out of the inning with the same 3-0 score Rhodes left him and allowed a run in the sixth. Oquist worked one inning, allowed two hits and a walk and hit two batters.

"It felt good to get out there and get in one," said Oquist, who hadn't pitched since April 22 with Rochester.

Blowers' two-out single to right that scored Turang gave the Mariners a 4-0 lead.

Seattle (11-13), in first place in the American League West, added a pair of runs in the eighth off Mark Eichhorn, who allowed four hits and walked one in two innings. Eichhorn was making his first appearance in a week.

The Orioles, whose 15 April victories were second only to the 1969 team that had a club-record 109 wins, remained tied for second place with the New York Yankees in the American League East.

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