Old rookie Driskill stays in rotation, to face Mariners again


Shutout through 6 is hard to duplicate, he knows

Johnson looks good in Fla.


May 29, 2002|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Needing a starter for Saturday's game against Seattle, Orioles manager Mike Hargrove will give Travis Driskill another turn in the rotation against the same team he defeated last weekend.

Driskill will pitch the third game of the series Saturday at Camden Yards, working on six days' rest following last Saturday's 3-2 victory over the Mariners at Safeco Field. Making his first major-league start, Driskill carried a shutout into the seventh inning before Bret Boone led off with a home run to chase him from the game.

Unaware of Hargrove's decision, Driskill said yesterday that he was approaching the next few days as if he'd be starting Saturday. Looking for clues, he noticed that his name was listed among the starting pitchers on the magnetic board outside Hargrove's office.

"I haven't been told anything," he said. "I'm just kind of going along the lines that that's how it's going to be."

Driskill, 30, attributed some of his success against the Mariners, which included only four hits allowed in six-plus innings, to their unfamiliarity with him.

"I'll have to make some adjustments. They'll definitely be more prepared," he said.

The Cleveland Indians selected Driskill in the fourth round of the 1993 draft while being managed by Hargrove. He didn't reach the majors until this season after being signed as a minor-league free agent.

"I didn't see him a whole lot but I saw him a little bit," Hargrove said. "Obviously he's more experienced. He has pretty much the same stuff but has a better idea of how to go about his business and get things done."

Johnson throws well

Jason Johnson made his first rehab start in an extended spring training game in Sarasota, Fla., on Monday, lasting three innings and 45 pitches while avoiding any setbacks that could delay his return to the Orioles. He's scheduled to pitch again either Friday or Saturday at Double-A Bowie.

"He threw well. He threw 45, 50 pitches. He got a little tired at the end, which is to be expected," Hargrove said.

The Orioles next want Johnson to go five innings or 75 pitches. "We'll see how he comes through that. If he comes through well, we'll schedule him for a start here," Hargrove said.

Johnson hasn't pitched for the Orioles since breaking his right middle finger April 25.

Headed in new direction

Within a week, Rodrigo Lopez has lost both his undefeated record and natural hair color.

Lopez showed up yesterday with his brownish locks bleached blond. He had contemplated the change for a week, but waited until he found a salon near his Owings Mills home.

"I had a day off [Monday] and just did it. I also did it after the winter season in Mexico," he said.

No slave to superstitions, he said he would have gone through with it this week even if he hadn't lost for the first time in six decisions Sunday.

"I wanted it a little darker but they put too much bleach in it."

Around the horn

Chris Singleton's career-high 15-game hitting streak came to an end. ... The Orioles released infielder Alex Arias, who was batting .135 with three RBIs in 16 games at Triple-A Rochester. Arias had been viewed as a potential utility infielder before Brian Roberts was promoted.

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