162 and (not) counting for Ripken

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

June 26, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Cal Ripken has exactly one regular season's worth of games remaining to match Lou Gehrig's streak of 2,130 consecutive games played.

He has 162 games left to match Gehrig, but he maintains he will try not to think about that until 161 of those have been played.

"There is no sense in looking ahead," Ripken said. "It's potentially dangerous or counterproductive. I approach the game the same way now after 13 years as I did my first year."

Part of Ripken's daily routine often includes answering questions about the streak in identical fashion.

"The streak is a byproduct of my desire to play," he says regularly. "The old saying of taking it one day at a time works for me. Too many things can happen to approach it any other way."

Fernandez doubtful for Tuesday

Orioles manager Johnny Oates said he does not expect left-hander Sid Fernandez to be ready to pitch Tuesday, which means he will head to the disabled list.

Fernandez tried to play catch yesterday but was in too much pain. He would have to throw off the mound today to be able to start Tuesday.

"My own opinion is I don't think he will pick up a baseball today," Oates said.

Rochester left-hander Rick Krivda is the most likely candidate to be activated and make the start Tuesday in Cleveland.

Elsewhere on the medical front for the Orioles, center fielder Mike Devereaux, who is on the disabled list with a pulled hamstring, is scheduled to test the injury by running for the first time today.

Streaking

Who's hot: Reliever Mark Eichhorn has a 0.58 ERA in his past 20 games. He has allowed two earned runs in 31 innings during that span. . . Ripken is hitting .333 with six home runs and 15 RBIs in his past 23 games.

Who's not: Third baseman Leo Gomez, who will be rested tonight against Toronto starter Todd Stottlemyre, is 1-for-23 in his last six games. . . Center fielder Brady Anderson has struck out five times in his past seven at-bats. . . Right fielder Jeffrey Hammonds is 4-for-24 since returning from the disabled list.

Fresh blood

Perhaps the best way to conquer an old nemesis is to bring in new faces.

Until winning Friday night at SkyDome, 5-1, the Orioles had not won a series opener in the building since 1990.

Four new faces led the Orioles to the victory. Mike Oquist allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings and winning pitcher Eichhorn (4-1) shut out the Blue Jays over the final 2 1/3 innings. Chris Sabo had a first-inning, bases-empty homer and doubled home two runs in the ninth, and Rafael Palmeiro knocked in two runs.

McLemore on the run

Figuring he could get a good jump on reliever Dave Righetti's high leg kick, Mark McLemore took off to steal third base in the four-run ninth inning of Friday night's victory.

McLemore was running on his own and Hammonds reacted quickly on the back end of the double steal that resulted in the Orioles having runners on second and third with one out.

The aggressive play was followed by a walk to Anderson, Sabo's game-winning two-run double and Palmeiro's two-run single.

McLemore stole second base on a pitchout in the fourth inning of yesterday's 4-1 victory, giving him 12 stolen bases in 15 attempts.

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