Anderson bruised but not beaten

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Refusing to duck Martinez, he legs out start

Kingsale gets first big-league steal

September 28, 1999|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

BOSTON -- Orioles manager Ray Miller made out two lineups yesterday. One had Brady Anderson written in as the designated hitter. The other had Anderson on the bench.

It wasn't until after Anderson swung in the batting cage that he determined he'd be able to start against Boston's Pedro Martinez, the American League's likely Cy Young winner and MVP candidate.

As Miller sat in his office earlier in the day, he conceded, "I'm not expecting him to be 100 percent, but he's going to try to play. Guys are pretty squeamish about things like that. They don't want anybody to think they're ducking somebody."

Anderson had been hit on the back of his leg while batting with the bases loaded in the fifth inning Sunday. He motored into third on a two-run double by Mike Bordick, concluding his sprint with a hard slide into the bag, and scored easily on a single by Calvin Pickering.

He was removed for a pinch hitter in the seventh inning and given the cliched day-to-day status. Anderson received treatment after arriving at Fenway Park yesterday, took some cuts in the cage and gave himself the green light. He began the game with a shot off the Green Monster, his first of two doubles, but limped into second.

"It's weird. I got hit on the hamstring. It's happened before where I've been hit on one part of my leg and injured the other part. I guess there's a reason for it," Anderson said before last night's 5-3 loss.

Anderson broke his own club record by being hit for the 23rd time this season. His previous mark was 22 in 1996. Anderson, who took a Martinez fastball in the upper back in the fifth inning last night for No. 24 this season, was quick to note he also holds the league record for most times being hit by a left-handed batter.

"That's one way to get on base," he said.

Anderson has found others. He is batting .306 (59-for-193) in his last 48 games.

Kingsale learning on job

With Anderson limited, rookie Eugene Kingsale made his 17th start in center field.

Kingsale, who went 1-for-3 with his first major-league stolen base, began the night with only one hit in his last 24 at-bats. He also continues to get poor jumps on some balls, but can make up for many of his mistakes.

"He's done all right. He doesn't get great jumps, but he has great athletic speed," Miller said.

"People used to say that you don't develop instincts. But I don't think that's necessarily true. The kid didn't play that much amateur baseball, coming from a small island in Aruba. I think there's a lot of things you haven't seen yet because he just hasn't played as much baseball as the average person."

Crowing about Crow's pupil

Some extra work with hitting coach Terry Crowley has paid huge dividends for catcher Charles Johnson, who is on a 16-for-38 roll.

"It just seems like any time Crow can get him in the cage two days in a row, he comes out and knocks the heck out of the ball," Miller said.

Johnson's surge had lifted his average to .254 with 16 homers and 53 RBIs.

"His best years are way ahead of him offensively," Miller said.

"Crow's done a heck of a job. From where [Johnson] was when I first saw him to where he is right now, his swing is much more conducive to hitting the ball on the bat head wherever it's pitched, being able to pull his hands in and get to the heater in, or extend and get to the fastball away. He's using the whole field.

"He's hitting it hard wherever it's pitched. He's hit a ton of line drives right at people this year. It just tears Crowley's heart out every time he does."

Crowley felt another pang in the second inning last night when Johnson lined out to short. He singled in the fifth for the Orioles' third hit before joining his teammates as Martinez's ninth strikeout victim in the seventh.

J. Johnson on a roll, too

With one start remaining, right-hander Jason Johnson can finish with no worse than a .500 record after improving to 8-7 with Sunday's 8-5 win over Boston. And the spring trade with Tampa Bay that cost the Orioles minor-league outfielder Danny Clyburn looks more one-sided by the minute.

"It means a lot," he said. "I guess not just to prove to them, but to prove to myself that I can win here and I can hopefully stay above .500 and go 9-7."

Johnson has won five straight decisions, including his last three starts. In Sunday's game, he allowed two earned runs and five hits in seven innings.

"It's no one certain thing, it's just everything," Johnson said, trying to explain his run of success. "I feel comfortable throwing all my pitches at any point and time in the count. At 2-0, I'm throwing changeups. It's more confidence in my pitches and confidence that I can throw them for strikes that's helping me the most."

It's a feeling that comes with experience. Sunday's start with Johnson's 21st this year and 34th in parts of two big-league seasons.

"You keep going out there and you start getting more confidence in the stuff that you have and more confidence in throwing it," he said.

Around the horn

Boston's Brian Daubach hit his second homer of the series -- his only two since Aug. 14. Ex-Oriole Damon Buford tied his season high with three hits. Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra sat out with a bruised right wrist. He was hit on it by an Al Reyes pitch Saturday. Next Saturday's game against Boston at Camden Yards has been moved to 7: 05 p.m. and will be broadcast by HTS.

Pub Date: 9/28/99

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