Scouting report: Athletics vs. Orioles

July 21, 1998|By Joe Strauss

At Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Day, Time, TV, Starters

Tonight, 7:35, HTS, Tom Candiotti (5-11, 4.91) vs. Scott Erickson (10-7, 3.99)

Tomorrow, 7:35, HTS, Blake Stein (4-5, 5.47) vs. Sidney Ponson (3-6, 5.90)

Thursday, 7:35, 13, 50, Jimmy Haynes (7-3, 3.91) vs. Doug Drabek (6-9, 6.93)

Radio: All games on WBAL (1090 AM) and WTOP (1500 AM)

Athletics update

The A's have quietly put together an overachieving season and enter the three-game series only 7 1/2 games off the AL West lead. At 22-19, they are tied with the Anaheim Angels for the best record in the AL West since June 3. Coming off a 5-6 homestand, the A's are struggling offensively since the break, but possess enough speed to torment the Orioles. A's starting pitchers have allowed 16 earned runs in 80 2/3 innings (1.79 ERA) since the break, but are only 5-2 in that span. Of the A's six losses since the break, four have come in the ninth inning. Closer Billy Taylor has converted 21 of 23 save chances, the AL's third-best ratio but has struggled in tie games. His eight losses are the most by an A's reliever since 1985. The sidewinding Taylor also has allowed runs in seven of his last 10 appearances. Left-handed hitters are battering him for a .409 average in that span. The A's traded for Tim Worrell last week to bolster their bullpen. Left fielder Rickey Henderson remains a marvel at 39. He is leading the majors in stolen bases (38) and with his next steal becomes the second-oldest player ever to steal his age. (Davey Lopes stole 47 at 40.) The all-time stolen base leader needs three more walks to move past Carl Yastrzemski into fourth place. Rookie Ben Grieve has reached base in 36 straight games.

Pub Date: 7/21/98

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