Fernandez finds perfect location

June 13, 1994|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Contributing Writer

Sid Fernandez couldn't pick a better time to get back on track.

Fernandez, who is 1-1 with a 4.57 ERA in his past three starts, faces the American League East-leading New York Yankees tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Camden Yards with the Orioles one game away from first place.

The veteran left-hander has yet to find some consistency even though the Orioles have supported him with 16 runs in those three starts.

His biggest problem has been keeping the ball in the park. Giving up five home runs in his last three starts, Fernandez now leads the staff with 14 homers allowed. Among the Yankees, Paul O'Neill (12), Danny Tartabull (11), Bernie Williams (10) and Jim Leyritz (10) all have double-digit home run totals.

Fernandez (3-3, 4.35 ERA), however, will be catching the Yankees in an offensive drought. Not including their win on Saturday, New York is batting .183 (17-for-93), scoring eight runs in their past 27 innings.

The Yankees' dominance over the American League East has even faded. They are still 11-7 against the division, but have lost three of their last four.

The Yankees, who are 7-9 against left-handed starters, could recover offensively with their visit to Camden Yards, where they have the best record (8-5) of any visiting team. On Sept. 8, 1992, the Yankees set the Camden Yards single-game scoring mark in a 16-4 win over the Orioles.

Fernandez's counterpart, Melido Perez (3-3, 4.29 ERA), is making his first start against the Orioles this season. He is 6-2 with a 3.88 ERA in his career vs. the Orioles.

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