Hits and misses

June 16, 1996|By Buster Olney

On the field: Kevin Young angered some Orioles when he slid extremely hard on a force play at second base Thursday night, forcing second baseman Roberto Alomar to leap out of harm's way, and Young committed another breach of etiquette last night. On a play at the plate, Young slid hard into catcher Gregg Zaun, even though his path took him far away from home; after the collision, Young had to reach several feet to touch home plate.

In the dugout: With Alomar not starting, Cal Ripken took over the third spot in the order against left-hander Chris Haney, with Rafael Palmeiro staying in the cleanup spot and Bobby Bonilla at No. 5. Jeffrey Hammonds, out of the starting lineup the last four games, was in left field last night. He had two singles in seven at-bats.

In the clubhouse: Orioles manager Davey Johnson bristled when asked if he had talked to Kent Mercker, who complained about being taken out too early Thursday. "You guys probably already know the answer to that," Johnson said. "You probably saw me talking to him. . . . My conversations are private."

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