Hits and misses

July 17, 1996|By Jason LaCanfora

On the field: A wacky series of events led to a bang-bang play at home plate in the second inning. Alex Gonzalez stole second base easily when shortstop Manny Alexander failed to cover the bag for the throw from catcher Chris Hoiles, which bounced off the corner of the base and into right field. Second baseman Jeff Huson retrieved the ball and fired home to nail Gonzalez, who was blocked off the plate by Hoiles.

In the dugout: With the bullpen ailing the Orioles had starter Rocky Coppinger ready to relieve on an emergency basis. Coppinger is a right-hander, a commodity the Orioles are sorely lacking with Roger McDowell and Armando Benitez hurt.

In the clubhouse: Davey Johnson said the Orioles' record of six games under .500 since April 17 is a cause of some concern: "We need to try to do some things a little bit differently to see if we can't get a little more offense, get a little more clutch hitting."

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