Hits and misses

April 04, 1996|By Buster Olney

On the field: The Kansas City Royals could really struggle for runs this year. On Opening Day, manager Bob Boone felt compelled to hit for the Nos. 3, 4 and 5 hitters in his starting lineup. Yesterday, left fielder Pat Lennon hit third for the Royals -- with a total of 11 major-league at-bats under his belt. Joe Vitiello, who had seven homers in his rookie season last year, batted cleanup.

In the dugout: Orioles manager Davey Johnson says it could be difficult getting regular work for his bench players. He used three extra men on Opening Day, but did not use a late-inning replacement for third baseman B. J. Surhoff, whose defense continues to progress. "I have confidence in B. J.," Johnson said. "He's very much in the ballgame, he pays attention. I don't want him to send the wrong message to him, that I don't have confidence in him. I want him to know I have confidence in him, and [taking him out] is the wrong way to do it."

In the clubhouse: The 2-3-4-5 hitters in the Orioles lineup went 9-for-15 with five runs and six RBIs, Roberto Alomar getting three hits and two RBIs. "He's the Barry Larkin of the National League," Johnson said. "He can do just about whatever you need to win." Said Alomar: "I'm really comfortable here. I'm just here to have some fun and to help this team win a championship."

! Pub Date: 4/04/96


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