SEATTLE -- Maintaining the rhythm of his first four starters while protecting his fifth from hostile settings, manager Davey Johnson announced last night that Mike Johnson will make his next start May 25 in Cleveland.
Johnson, who made his first major-league start Wednesday in Anaheim, was originally scheduled to make his second start at Camden Yards on Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers.
However, starting Johnson then would also have locked him into a May 27 start against New York at Yankee Stadium, hardly the environment for an impressionable talent.
Coupled with off days sandwiching the two-game homestand, starting Johnson on Tuesday also would have disrupted the other starters, leaving them to pitch on six days' rest.
"I didn't want to give people six days of rest," Davey Johnson said.
Under Johnson's modified rotation, Scott Kamieniecki will start Tuesday followed by Scott Erickson on Wednesday. Kamieniecki and Erickson will then return the next week in New York.
"The pitching has been fine. Once we get into a full schedule of games, that will tell a lot. How deep is your bullpen? How deep is your pitching?" Johnson said.
While he waits for his next start, Mike Johnson will return to the bullpen, where he will share long relief with Shawn Boskie.
Johnson had anticipated the move. "I'll just go back to doing what I did before this week," he said. "I'll probably throw out of the bullpen before [his next start]."
Johnson remains mindful of the lessons he learned in Wednesday's four innings. Unlike his five previous relief outings, the 21-year-old was confronted with hitters able to adjust to his tendencies.
"That hadn't happened in the other games. I'd never really had to go through the order more than once. I've got to be able to adjust to them," Johnson said.
Unable to control his curveball, Johnson relied almost solely on his fastball and changeup against Anaheim and was punished by a pair of two-run home runs.
Hammonds back in lineup
Jeffrey Hammonds stepped back into the lineup last night after missing all but two games since April 29 with a strained muscle in his side. Hammonds was inserted in right field in place of Tony Tarasco, who had started three of four games on the current road trip. Hammonds went 1-for-4 and scored a run.
"He's in there. We'll see how ready he is. They pretty much signed off on him a couple days ago," said Davey Johnson, who has cautiously handled Hammonds' return.
Before Hammonds injured himself in Minnesota, he was riding a five-game hitting streak in which he was 8-for-24 (.333).
Favorable draft picture
The order of the June 3-5 draft has been made official, with the Orioles the only club to exercise two first-round picks.
The Orioles will pick 22nd overall in their assigned spot and also receive the Yankees' No. 26 pick as compensation for their signing of free-agent pitcher David Wells.
The Orioles also receive the 36th overall pick -- a sandwich selection between the first and second rounds -- as compensation for Wells. Only the White Sox will exercise three picks before the Orioles.
Around the horn
With second baseman Roberto Alomar making an error in the ninth inning last night, first baseman Rafael Palmeiro remains the only AL position player without an error. Palmeiro entered last night's game having handled all 362 chances cleanly, though Alomar and reliever Brian Williams had saved him on potential errors. Alomar had 138 perfect chances at second base going into the game. The No. 7 spot in the order has been a turnstile for the Orioles. Hammonds batted there for the ninth time last night, two more than B. J. Surhoff. Chris Hoiles (six), Pete Incaviglia (five), Jerome Walton (four), Tarasco (four) and Lenny Webster also have hit out of the spot. Early reports on Walton's rehabilitation in Birmingham, Ala., have been less than encouraging. Walton is almost halfway through his two-week rehab with Dr. William Clancy to try to ease irritation from calcium building in scar tissue near his groin. Seattle second baseman Joey Cora extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single in the first inning. Palmeiro, 32, played in his 1,500th career game. He has been with the Chicago Cubs, Texas and the Orioles. Cal Ripken had a double, and trails Brooks Robinson by 10 total bases for the club lead. Robinson has 4,270.
In losing to the Anaheim Angels on Wednesday and Thursday nights, the Orioles lost a series for the first time this year. How they've fared:
Opponent .. .. .. .. Result
Kansas City .. .. .. Won, 2-0
at Texas .. .. .. .. Won, 2-1
at Kansas City .. .. Split, 1-1
Texas .. .. .. .. .. Won, 2-0
Minnesota . .. .. .. Won, 2-0
at Chicago ... .. .. Split, 1-1
at Boston . .. .. .. Split, 1-1
Chicago ... .. .. .. Split, 1-1
Boston . .. .. .. .. Split, 2-2
Minnesota . .. .. Won, 3-0
Oakland ... .. .. .. Won, 2-1
Anaheim ... .. .. .. Won, 2-1
Seattle ... .. .. .. Split, 2-2
at Oakland ... .. .. Won, 2-0
at Anaheim ... .. .. Lost, 2-0
Pub Date: 5/17/97