Palmeiro says doughnuts glaze his daytime blaze

SIDELIGHT

June 13, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

BOSTON -- Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, producing All-Star numbers, is widely regarded as one of the top hitters in the game.

He proved after yesterday's 8-4 win over the Boston Red Sox he also can pitch. If not a baseball, at least a product.

When asked why he has been so prolific during day games, Palmeiro said: "I think it's the doughnuts. It's definitely the

doughnuts. Dunkin' Donuts will do the trick every time. Especially the glazed. The chocolate-covered ones, too."

Palmeiro is hitting .481 (39-for-81) during the day, as opposed to a .272 average at night.

No one wanted to see the sun shine at Fenway Park more than Palmeiro yesterday. He was 3-for-3 with a home run when this late spring Boston day turned as cruel as Palmeiro's most recent Texas winter.

The game was delayed by rain for two hours and one minute with the Orioles leading 6-1.

"I thought we weren't going to play for sure," Palmeiro said. "I just sat in the dugout waiting."

When the rain lightened, Palmeiro thought he would make sure the umpires noticed. So he shot out of the dugout and played catch with Cal Ripken.

"That would have been a big disappointment for us, especially since the Yankees lost," Palmeiro said of the possibility of a rainout.

It wouldn't have been any easier to take from an individual standpoint. "I would have been upset, but it didn't happen so I'm glad," he said.

Palmeiro singled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, during which time he is batting .434 with 14 runs, 10 RBIs and three home runs.

He is not the Orioles' only hot hitter.

Shortstop Cal Ripken is hitting .386 with four home runs and 11 RBIs in 11 June games.

L Second baseman Mark McLemore is hitting .419 in eight games.

Left fielder Brady Anderson is batting .500 in his past four games with two doubles and two triples.

Palmeiro has been hot all year.

He is batting .350 with 13 home runs, yet ranks no better than ninth among American League first basemen in the All-Star voting. Instead of pitching doughnuts, perhaps Palmeiro should hire someone to pitch his cause to the fans at Camden Yards, who have not been stuffing the ballot box.

No matter, he had first place in the standings, not the balloting, on his mind yesterday. The Orioles pulled to within one game of the Yankees on the eve of their four-game showdown at Camden Yards.

"It's good to be playing the Yankees right now," Palmeiro said. "They're a little down and we're hot."

Must be the doughnuts.

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