Palmeiro hit parade tops charts

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

May 22, 1994|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Sun Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Rafael Palmeiro has worn the Orioles' uniform less than two months, but he's accomplished something that hadn't been done in the club's 40-year history.

When he lined a run-scoring single to left-center in the first inning yesterday, it was the 23rd straight game in which the smooth-swinging first baseman hit safely. That's a long way from Joe DiMaggio's all-time record of 56, but enough to give Palmeiro a line in the Orioles' record book.

Palmeiro, who added an RBI double in the fifth inning, broke a record originally set by Doug DeCinces over the 1978-79 seasons. It was later matched by Eddie Murray in 1984.

For Palmeiro, who is hitting .349, the record streak seemed a little hollow.

"If we were playing better, it would mean something," he said. "But when we've lost seven out of eight, it doesn't mean a whole lot. Maybe I'll be able to appreciate it more later."

The 23-game streak is the longest of Palmeiro's career. He had a 20-gamer with the Cubs in 1988, but says he has no memory of it. "I can't remember back that far," he said.

Hammonds update

There still is no definitive word on the possible return of outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds. Manager Johnny Oates said Hammonds told him his ailing left knee "felt bad" yesterday, but the rookie outfielder seemed a bit more positive.

"The doctors said it would be about three weeks," he said, "and we're about two weeks into it now. I'd say I'm day-to-day for the next seven days."

Hammonds did test his knee by running hard yesterday.

"I can tell it's coming," he said, "but if I can't steal a base there's no point in me being out there right now. And I can't do that yet."

Batting order shake-up

In deference to the low on-base percentage at the top of the lineup, Oates made a subtle change in his batting order yesterday. Mark McLemore, who has batted eighth most of the season, moved into the second slot, and Mike Devereaux dropped to the sixth position.

Although both have better than respectable power numbers, Devereaux and leadoff hitter Brady Anderson have struggled during the early season. Devereaux has seven home runs and 20 RBIs, but only a .182 batting average and a .240 on-base percentage.

Anderson, who has five homers and 14 RBIs, is hitting .221 and has a .333 on-base percentage. McLemore's on-base percentage is a modest .364, but ranks third on the team behind Palmeiro (.429) and Harold Baines (.386).

Hoiles sits one out

Chris Hoiles, who caught 316 of the first 339 innings the Orioles had played, was not in the lineup yesterday for obvious reasons.

"He's struggling a little bit [.211, six home runs, 18 RBIs], he's tired, it's a day game after a night game and he needs a day off," said Oates.

Jeff Tackett made his third start of the season as Hoiles' replacement. Hoiles pinch-hit in the ninth inning and flied out deep to center field.

PALMEIRO'S STREAK

A game-by-game look at Rafael Palmeiro's club-record 23-game hitting streak:

Date .. .. .. Opp. .. .. .. AB .. .. Hits .. .. .. Avg.

4/23 .. .. .. Sea. .. .. .. 5 .. ... 3 .. .. .. .. .339

4/24 .. .. .. Sea. .. .. .. 4 .. ... 3 .. .. .. .. .364

4/25 .. .. .. Oak. .. .. .. 4 .. ... 1 .. .. .. .. .357

4/26 .. .. .. Oak. .. .. .. 4 .. ... 1 .. .. .. .. .351

4/27 .. .. at Calif. .. ... 6 .. ... 3 .. .. .. .. .363

4/28 .. .. at Calif. .. ... 5 .. ... 1 .. .. .. .. .353

4/29 .. .. at Sea. .. .. .. 4 .. ... 1 .. .. .. .. .348

5/1 .. ... at Sea. .. .. .. 4 .. ... 2 .. .. .. .. .355

5/3 .. ... at Oak. .. .. .. 3 .. ... 1 .. .. .. .. .354

%/4 .. ... at Oak. .. .. .. 3 .. ... 1 .. .. .. .. .354

5/6 ... ... Clev. .. .. ... 4 .. ... 1 .. .. .. .. .350

5/8 ... ... Clev. .. .. ... 4 .. ... 2 .. .. .. .. .355

5/9 ... ... Tor. .. ... ... 3 .. ... 1 .. .. .. .. .355

5/10 .. ... Tor. .. ... ... 4 .. ... 1 .. .. .. .. .351

5/11 .. ... Tor. .. ... ... 4 .. ... 2 .. .. .. .. .356

5/13 .. .. at Minn. ... ... 4 .. ... 1 .. .. .. .. .352

5/14 .. .. at Minn. ... ... 3 .. ... 1 .. .. .. .. .352

5/15 .. .. at Minn. ... ... 4 .. ... 1 .. .. .. .. .349

5/17 ... .. Bos. .. ... ... 4 .. ... 1 .. .. .. .. .346

5/18 ... .. Bos. .. ... ... 4 .. ... 1 .. .. .. .. .343

5/19 ... .. Bos. .. ... ... 3 .. ... 1 .. .. .. .. .343

5/20 .. .. at N.Y. .. .. .. 3 .. ... 1 .. .. .. .. .343

5/21 .. .. at N.Y. .. .. .. 3 .. ... 2 .. .. .. .. .349

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