Rhodes starts on path to Cooperstown, sort of


August 01, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

Orioles left-hander Arthur Rhodes will pitch his way into the Hall of Fame tonight.

His name will be on tonight's lineup card, Cal Ripken's 2,000th consecutive start, a card that no doubt will be enshrined in Cooperstown.

The Orioles recalled Rhodes from Triple-A Rochester yesterday and outrighted left-hander Tom Bolton to the Red Wings to make room for him on the roster.

Though Rhodes will be used as a starter tonight, he likely will become a reliever after that, Orioles manager Johnny Oates said.

"We might see what he can do out of the bullpen," Oates said, indicating Mark Williamson might remain the fifth starter until the probable Aug. 12 strike.

Rhodes begins his third stint this season with the Orioles. He has gone 1-5 with an 8.83 ERA in eight starts and has allowed eight home runs in 34 2/3 innings.

In 11 starts covering 68 2/3 innings at Rochester, Rhodes went 6-3 with a 2.75 ERA, 27 walks and 63 strikeouts.

He allowed five earned runs, seven hits, three walks and two home runs in his last major-league start, June 28 at Cleveland.

Bolton takes demotion well

Bolton, who cleared waivers and was sent to Rochester, was asked about the possibility of being moved off the roster moments before being called into Oates' office.

"The way I look at it, the worst that can happen is if they send me down," Bolton said. "They aren't going to shoot me . . . I don't think."

Bolton, released by the Detroit Tigers in spring training and signed to a Triple-A contract by the Orioles on March 29, made his Orioles debut May 8.

In his first five outings, he pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings, allowed one hit and one walk and struck out five. In his remaining 17 appearances covering 18 innings, he allowed 14 earned runs and 40 base runners by hit or walk.

"I had a little bit of a bad shoulder for a week to 10 days and I think I picked up some bad habits and that was the start of things going downhill," Bolton said.

Second thoughts

In his past two starts against the Blue Jays, Ben McDonald has allowed 12 second-inning earned runs. In both games, including yesterday's 6-4 loss, McDonald retired the side in order in the first. McDonald has lost his past four starts against the Blue Jays and has a 10.61 ERA in them. For his career, he is 4-7 with a 6.08 ERA against Toronto, an exceptional fastball-hitting team.

In contrast, second baseman Mark McLemore has a lifetime average of .326 against the Blue Jays, making him the only player on the roster hitting over .300.

"I don't feel any different playing against them than I do playing against anyone else," said McLemore, who drove in a pair of runs with a sixth-inning single yesterday.

Around the horn

Rookie right-handed reliever Armando Benitez threw 74 pitches yesterday. His highest pitch count at Double-A Bowie was 45, according to Oates. . . . Chris Hoiles, slowed by normal catcher aches and pains and feeling the effects of the flu, did not start for the second game in a row yesterday, but said he definitely will start tonight. . . . After beginning the month 10-4, the Orioles stumbled at the end of July to finish the month 13-13. But if form follows, a better August is in store. The Orioles were 15-8 in April, 12-13 in May and 16-12 in June.

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