McDonald, Brewers not old friends

May 23, 1994|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Contributing Writer

In a slump himself, Ben McDonald should be looking forward to facing a team that has lost 11 in a row.

Unless it's the Milwaukee Brewers, that is.

McDonald takes a 2-6 lifetime mark against Milwaukee into tonight's series opener with the faltering Brewers at County Stadium. Only Toronto has beaten him as often.

The 26-year-old right-hander has surrendered 74 hits and 30 earned runs in 72 2/3 innings against Milwaukee. McDonald went 1-1 against the Brewers last year, but the Orioles only provided seven runs in those three starts.

That same run support has contributed to McDonald's recent difficulties.

During McDonald's season-opening 7-0 roll, he got an average of 6.4 runs from the Orioles. In his last two starts, he has received a total of three runs and lost both games.

McDonald (7-2) gave up 18 runs in his first seven starts. He has since given up eight runs in his past two appearances, watching his ERA rise from 3.08 to 3.75.

McDonald also has allowed 21 hits in his past 15 2/3 innings. Since beating Oakland, 9-1, in a complete game on May 3, McDonald, the American League Pitcher of the Month in April, has cooled considerably, surrendering 14 runs in his past three starts, after giving up only 12 in his first six games.

His counterpart tonight, Ricky Bones, knows all about the lack of offensive support. Bones has a 3-3 record while maintaining a 1.89 ERA. He also has given up 49 hits in 62 innings, but has walked 20 with 14 strikeouts.

Like McDonald, Bones does not enjoy the Milwaukee-Orioles series. Bones had an 0-2 record with a 9.00 ERA in three games against the Orioles last year. He has allowed 25 earned runs in 29 1/3 career innings vs. the Orioles.

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