New outfield mate no stranger to Devo

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

June 15, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writer Milton Kent contributed to this article.

Mike Devereaux and Dwight Smith, roommates while playing winter ball in Puerto Rico several years ago, have remained friends ever since. Now they are teammates.

Will they remain friends?

Of course they will, Devereaux said, even though Smith's addition to the roster threatens to reduce Devereaux's playing time somewhat.

"Yes, I'm glad he's here," Devereaux said. "He's a good friend of mine. He's a good guy. There is no doubt that I want to play. That's what I'm here for, to play, but he's a good friend of mine."

Devereaux, hitting .212 with 55 strikeouts in 55 games before hitting his first home run since May 8 last night, has stayed in manager Johnny Oates' everyday lineup because of his strong outfield play and because Oates had few options. Now he has one more.

"I don't know what their plan is," Devereaux said.

Dostal accepts assignment

Bruce Dostal, the outfielder who spent four days on the Orioles' 25-man roster, was removed from the 40-man roster yesterday to make room for Smith.

Dostal, 29, said he will report to Triple-A Rochester today, rather than declare himself a free agent.

"At least they know me here," Dostal said. "Going to another organization would be like starting all over."

Dostal did not get into a game, but would have been used as a pinch runner had Chris Hoiles reached base in the final at-bat of Monday's 3-1 loss to the Yankees.

Another round trip for Buford

Taking Dostal off the 40-man roster left the Orioles a man short last night, so they recalled Damon Buford from Rochester again, where he will return today.

Buford opened the season on the Orioles' roster, appeared in one game as a pinch runner, and was optioned to Rochester on April 17. Buford was recalled May 9 when Chris Sabo went on the disabled list. He appeared in two games, batted twice, and was optioned back to Rochester on May 20.

Upon further review

Official scorer Bill Stetka changed his call from Monday and credited New York's Bernie Williams with a double instead of a single.

Williams slapped an eighth-inning drive to left-center and Brady Anderson and Devereaux converged on it. Anderson bobbled the ball, and Devereaux's throw sailed over the second-base bag.

Stetka originally charged Anderson with an error, which would have been his second of the year. But yesterday Stetka ruled that Williams was running all the way on the play.

Stetka said he consulted with Anderson, reviewed a tape of the play and talked to Yankees first base coach Brian Butterfield, who told him he had waved Williams to second base from the outset.

No late-inning fireworks

When Leo Gomez drove in Cal Ripken Monday night, it marked only the 18th ninth-inning run the Orioles had scored this season, while allowing 32 by their opponents.

"The ninth inning has not been a good inning for us," said Oates.

Oates gave a two-part explanation for the run disparity. First, in some cases, in order to save the bullpen, he had allowed a struggling pitcher to remain in the game.

The other reason is that the team has not staged a ninth-inning rally all season.

"But if you look around baseball, you don't see too many ninth-inning comebacks," said Oates. "You've got [closers] like [Jeff] Russell, [John] Franco and [Dennis] Eckersley. They're paid to not let you come back too often. They do very well."

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