Orioles' ups and downs

June 11, 2000|By JOE STRAUSS

Interleague chaos -- DOWN -- Coming at the back end of a 10-game road trip, the Orioles had to make four plane flights to play three games at Shea Stadium thanks to Tuesday's tardily announced rainout (sound familiar?) and a lack of hotel rooms. Worse than a midnight ride on the No. 7 train?

Albert Belle -- UP -- He came up with home runs in back-to-back games and an eight-game hitting streak on the just-done road trip. Friday was the one-year anniversary of Belle's dugout dust-up with Ray Miller in Florida, which also signaled his turnaround last season.

D.C. ball -- UP -- The Expos are coming! The Expos are coming! Sure, they are. And you thought it got nasty in Frank Wren's arbitration hearing? Send in the lawyers.

Whoa, Canada! -- DOWN -- Thanks to last weekend's offense-free three-game sweep in Quebec, the Orioles' winless skid north of the border extends almost as long (20 games) as their season-opening collapse (21 games) in '88. They go for the record July 21-23 in Toronto.

Lineup intrigue -- DOWN -- More than a third into their schedule, the $80 million Orioles are casting for a No. 5 hitter. Will Clark is homer-less. Harold Baines began the weekend on the low side of.230. Charles Johnson never hit this high with a National League team. Check Mike Mussina's '99 slugging percentage.

B. J. Surhoff -- UP -- The Bronx native admitted to a New York tabloid last week that he has envisioned himself in pinstripes. His recent breakout won't hurt trade interest.

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