ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Home run updates for Rafael Palmeiro are almost a daily occurrence these days. He hit his sixth homer of the road trip yesterday, his fifth homer in six games, his third homer in three games and his 31st homer overall.
Palmeiro also picked up his 12th RBI in his last 10 games, and if he continues at his current pace, Palmeiro will finish the year with 40 homers and 107 RBIs.
On the road trip, Bobby Bonilla said, Palmeiro was "fantastic. . . . He's having quite a season, and it's really going unnoticed. He's well on his way to 35 homers and 100 RBIs, and what more can you ask for than that?"
Palmeiro said: "I don't know what it is. I just feel good on the West Coast."
Orioles catcher Chris Hoiles said: "He's just in one of those grooves where everything you swing at, you're going to hit."
Breakthrough for Brown
The bizarre nature of his 1995 season left Kevin Brown shaking his head, after he beat the California Angels, 5-2, on Saturday night and earned his first victory since June 2.
What perplexed Brown was that he managed to win without having much of a fastball. "It was probably the worst stuff I've had in a while," he said. "This is a strange game."
Brown, who allowed one run, four hits and four walks in 7 2/3 innings, seemed to be alone in his assessment of his performance.
"That's the Brownie I know," said Palmeiro, who played with Brown in Texas and was influential in the Orioles' decision to sign the right-hander. "That's the old Brownie. When he's on, he's as good as anybody. He's a horse."
Orioles manager Phil Regan said: "Brownie pitched well. It's been a long spell for him."
Poor run support has contributed to Brown's troubles: The Orioles had not scored four runs for him since May 23. Brown left Saturday's game with a 4-1 lead, two outs in the eighth and two runners on base. But Jesse Orosco struck out Jim Edmonds, who had been 2-for-3 against Orosco, and Doug Jones pitched the ninth inning to complete the victory.
Goodwin on the mend
Regan said he expects center fielder Curtis Goodwin to be ready to play next week, when he'll be eligible to come off the disabled list. Goodwin had his left index finger sandwiched between a fastball and his bat Aug. 19 in Oakland.
"He's feeling much better," Regan said, adding that the rookie probably will need a blood blister in his finger drained in the next couple of days.
Around the horn
Left-hander Arthur Rhodes was unable to see Orioles team doctor Michael Jacobs on Saturday, as he had hoped, but probably will have an appointment in the next day or two. Orioles officials think there's only an outside chance that Rhodes will pitch again this year, after he stretched the tissue around his left (throwing) shoulder last Thursday. . . . Manny Alexander, suffering from a mild groin strain, is listed as day-to-day. Regan said he could've used Alexander in emergency duty yesterday, but added, "I probably won't use him if I can help it." . . . The Orioles released shortstop Greg Smith, who walked off their Triple-A affiliate at Rochester after the Orioles released former replacement player Jimmy Hurst. Smith had been a replacement player with the Milwaukee Brewers, and informed the Red Wings that he didn't want to play if he had no chance of being promoted to the majors. . . . Right fielder Jeffrey Hammonds, recovering from a strained trapezius muscle, may begin working out with the Orioles sometime during the homestand that starts tomorrow.
Either the Angels have stolen the Orioles' signs or manager Marcel Lachemann is ready to open his own 900 fortune-tellers line. California guessed right three times with pitchouts on attempted stolen bases in the last two games of the series.
THE BEST OF THE 7-3 WEST
What the Orioles did well on their 7-3 West Coast trip that ended with a 4-0 win over the California Angels yesterday:
* The Orioles batted .279 on the road trip (they were hitting .256 when the trip began), scored 56 runs in 10 games, and had 20 doubles, four triples and 15 homers, a collective slugging percentage of .472.
* First baseman Rafael Palmeiro went 13-for-39 (.333) with six homers and 12 RBIs.
* Catcher Chris Hoiles went 8-for-19 in his last five games on the trip, with two doubles, a triple, three homers and seven RBIs.
* Right fielder Bobby Bonilla went 9-for-20 (.450) in the last five games.
* Third baseman Jeff Manto went 12-for-27 (.444).
* Patience. The Orioles drew 50 walks on the road trip, substantially higher than the 3.7 walks per game they averaged in the first 103 games.
* Mike Mussina won both his starts, allowing just 12 hits and one run and striking out 15 in 16 2/3 innings. His victories came against the Mariners and Angels, which rank fourth and first, respectively, in the AL in runs scored.
* Kevin Brown earned his first win since June 2.
* In California, the O's had three straight starters -- Scott Erickson, Brown and Mussina -- pitch into the eighth for the first time all year.
* The bullpen had three saves in three opportunities.
* The O's did not commit an error in the last 73 innings of the trip, their last coming in the fifth inning of the 12-6 win in Oakland on Aug. 19.
* The Orioles turned 15 double plays.