Hits and misses

July 21, 1996|By BUSTER OLNEY

On the field: Manny Alexander is hitless in his past 13 at-bats, and has one hit in 18 at-bats since taking over shortstop from Cal Ripken. Alexander has gotten the ball out of the infield twice, on a bloop single and a flyout to center field.

In the dugout: Manager Davey Johnson removed Alexander for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning, and Ripken moved to shortstop for the bottom of the inning. When the change was announced, the Fenway Park crowd roared in approval.

In the clubhouse: "I'm optimistic we'll do something [before the trade deadline July 31]. I think a week from today, we'll have a better fix on which way we're going to go." -- Orioles general manager Pat Gillick, who is close to completing a deal for Cleveland designated hitter Eddie Murray and is talking to San Diego about a possible swap involving Bobby Bonilla.

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