Eichhorn is no-save savior

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

June 21, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

Mark Eichhorn doesn't have any saves, but he does have the unqualified gratitude of his manager.

"What can I say about him?" Orioles manager Johnny Oates said of Eichhorn. "He's pitched seven times in the last nine games. I don't think I've ever used anyone seven times in nine days."

Eichhorn, who pitched 10 2/3 innings during that time, isn't showing any signs of wear.

He tossed four shutout innings in last night's 6-5 loss to Milwaukee and struck out four.

In Eichhorn's past 18 appearances, he has allowed 21 base runners in 26 2/3 innings and compiled an ERA of 0.68. He has walked four (two intentionally) and struck out 20.

Mark Williamson pitched 5 1/3 innings of relief the day before Eichhorn pitched four. Where will Oates turn if he needs relief early tonight?

"We're not going to need anyone," Oates said.

Why? Ace Mike Mussina is pitching.

Lopes is a hit with Gomez

When Leo Gomez doesn't feel quite right at the plate, he always knows right where to look.

"Every time I take a bad swing, I look to first base," Gomez said, meaning first base coach Davey Lopes. "He shows me what I'm doing wrong."

Gomez traces part of his turnaround at the plate this season to an early-season talk he had with Lopes. "Davey helped me a lot," Gomez said. "He told me you just can't pull every ball. [Hitting coach Greg] Biagini told me the same things. You listen to everybody and you keep what you want."

Gomez, who went 0-for-3 last night but still boasts a .327 average, said he is hitting to right field, just like in his best minor-league seasons.

When Lopes repeatedly told him to do so again, it had an E. F. Hutton effect on Gomez.

"He knows what's going on," Gomez said of Lopes. "He was a star player. When a guy like him tells you something, you better listen."

Oquist bypassed a turn

As expected, Oates said he will use Thursday's day off to skip right-hander Mike Oquist's turn. Oquist has not lost his job as the spot starter, however. He will start a week from today.

Krivda streaking

Rochester Red Wings left-hander Rick Krivda has a consecutive scoreless innings streak of 26. Krivda is 6-3 with a 2.48 ERA this season and is 40-15 with a 2.72 ERA in four seasons of pro ball.

McLemore's average climbing

Batting leadoff Sunday, second baseman Mark McLemore became the first Oriole to top the order besides Brady Anderson since Harold Reynolds led off Aug. 25, 1993. In the past 12 games, McLemore has raised his batting average from .225 to .266.

Bolton slumping

Left-handed reliever Tom Bolton allowed one hit in 5 1/3 innings over his first five appearances. In his next nine appearances, he allowed 19 hits and nine earned runs in 10 innings.

"He's had some good outings and he's had some bad outings," Oates said. "I have no problem bringing him in when the game is on the line."

Sabo 'just fine' in No. 2 hole

Even with Jeffrey Hammonds back, Oates sees no reason to take Chris Sabo from the No. 2 hole.

"Sabo is doing just fine where he is," Oates said. "And he's doing a good job in the outfield, too."

Around the horn

Milwaukee's Jody Reed extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He has gone 3-for-5 in his past three games. . . . The Orioles turned four double plays last night, the most this season. . . . The crowd of 47,262 was the 28th straight Oriole Park sellout and the 31st in 36 dates.

Why did the player statistics on the scoreboard look slightly different last night? One of the scoreboard's power lines was hit by lightning after Sunday's game. . . . Cal Ripken leads AL shortstops in the All-Star balloting with 2,214,725 votes. Toronto's Alex Gonzalez is second with 517,024 votes, despite being demoted to Triple-A Syracuse on May 28. First baseman Rafael Palmeiro is starting to climb and has moved into fifth place, behind Frank Thomas, John Olerud, Will Clark and Don Mattingly. Sabo ranks fifth among third basemen.

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