Oquist looks forward, again, to first start

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

May 08, 1994|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Sun Staff Writer

For a guy on the verge of making his first major-league start, pitcher Mike Oquist was a pretty relaxed fellow in the Orioles' clubhouse yesterday, watching television and even getting in some light reading.

After his start against the Cleveland Indians was washed away by yesterday's steady rain and resulting postponement, Oquist was philosophical, especially because there are no guarantees that he'll get another chance.

"Sure, you're disappointed," Oquist said. "It's your first big-league start, and you get rained out. I've got to sit back and wait my turn. Some time, it will happen."

Oquist, who has made one relief appearance since he was called up from Triple-A Rochester on April 25, said he had a "pretty good feeling" on the drive to Camden Yards that the game would be scrubbed, given the forecast.

As such, he didn't allow himself to get overly excited.

"I usually don't get excited until when I go out to get stretched before the game," Oquist said. "But if we were going to play, I wanted to pitch. I don't think it [the rain and mud] bothers me at all. I've pitched well in it, and I've pitched badly in it."

Hammonds to return today?

Outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds, who had missed the first game of the Indians' series after coming out of the final game of the Oakland series early, was scratched from yesterday's lineup.

Hammonds, still feeling the effects of a concussion sustained in a home plate collision in Seattle last Saturday, continues to feel "much better" after being examined by a doctor, manager Johnny Oates said.

Oates said Hammonds still has slight difficulties, but indicated the rookie might play in today's series finale.

Sabo and Hoiles get a rest

Oates also gave third baseman Chris Sabo and catcher Chris Hoiles yesterday off.

Sabo left Friday's 4-2 loss to the Indians after the ninth inning. Oates said Sabo had been complaining of severe cramps in his back after the eighth inning, but was feeling better yesterday morning.

Still, Leo Gomez was in the lineup instead of Sabo, who has had back problems in recent seasons. Oates said he would wait until just before game time to decide whether Sabo will start today.

Oates said Hoiles was "banged up" by a few foul balls Friday and was given a rest yesterday. Jeff Tackett was scheduled to start yesterday, but Oates said Hoiles would be in the lineup today.

Palermo pays a visit

Umpire Steve Palermo, who was wounded trying to break up a robbery attempt in Dallas in 1991, visited with Oates before yesterday's game.

Here comes the sun

One player who was surely disappointed by yesterday afternoon's rainout was Rafael Palmeiro, who is hitting .452, with four homers and nine RBI in 10 day games this season.

Looking ahead

Pitching probables for the Toronto series: Tomorrow -- Sid Fernandez (1-0, 2.16) vs. Al Leiter (2-1, 4.23). Tuesday -- Jamie Moyer (1-1, 5.50) vs. Juan Guzman (3-3, 6.49). Wednesday -- Mike Mussina (5-1, 2.73) vs. Dave Stewart (2-3, 5.56), although Stewart is listed as tentative for Wednesday.

Scoreboard shenanigans

The folks who post the messages on the JumboTron video board had a little fun with observant, but water-logged fans yesterday.

The following people were paged to the Fan Assistance Center: "Dr. Galieckewicz" (the limousine passenger in those beer commercials), "Clark Griswold" (Chevy Chase's character in the "National Lampoon Vacation" movies) and "Noah" (a fairly famous sailor).

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