Oquist aims to solve puzzle

June 14, 1994|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Contributing Writer

Mike Oquist remains the Orioles' biggest puzzle.

Oquist (2-1, 4.91 ERA) looks for his first major-league victory as a starter tonight as the Orioles look to climb back within a game of first place against the New York Yankees at Camden Yards.

The 26-year-old right-hander was groomed in the minor leagues as a starter, winning 36 games in that role in the previous five seasons. During that same time, Oquist made just 15 relief appearances.

With that background, the Orioles are trying to sort out his numbers this year.

Oquist, the Orioles spot starter, is 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA in 16 2/3 relief innings. He is 0-1 as a starter, allowing 12 runs and 16 hits in nine innings.

His control also has disappeared as a starter.

Oquist has walked one less batter in 7 2/3 more innings as a reliever. In his two starts, Oquist has given up all three of his home runs.

He earned his second victory of the season in his last appearance. Pitching in his first game since being struck on the head by a line drive, Oquist scattered seven hits over 3 1/3 innings in relief of left-hander Jamie Moyer and allowed one run against the Red Sox on Friday.

The Yankees starter tonight, Terry Mulholland, is facing similar problems.

After surrendering seven earned runs and 10 hits in five-plus innings against Toronto on Thursday, Mulholland was criticized for a lack of concentration by pitching coach Billy Connors.

Mulholland, who was traded from Philadelphia last December, has yet to meet preseason expectations. Besides a 5-6 record with a 6.25 ERA, the left-hander has allowed 16 homers in 85 innings.

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