Lopez is honored for a torrid July


O's pitcher is named AL Rookie of the Month after amassing 6-0 mark


August 03, 2002|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

TORONTO - Whether Orioles pitcher Rodrigo Lopez has done enough in his first season to qualify as a stopper or ace remains open to debate.

There's no disputing, however, who was the American League's Rookie of the Month for July. Opinions can't vary.

Lopez received the honor yesterday after going 6-0 with a 2.57 ERA. He allowed 12 earned runs and 31 hits in 42 innings, with 14 walks and 35 strikeouts.

In his most recent outing, Lopez held Tampa Bay to one run over six innings in a 12-2 victory that ended the Orioles' four-game losing streak. He improved to 6-0 in eight starts after an Orioles loss. Hence, the references to stopper and ace.

Signed as a six-year minor-league free agent, Lopez became the first Orioles pitcher to win six games in a month since Mike Boddicker in May 1984, and the first to go 6-0 since Dennis Martinez in May 1979.

Lopez was given consideration for AL Pitcher of the Month, but lost out to Boston's Pedro Martinez, who posted a 0.64 ERA while going 5-0.

Manager Mike Hargrove was disappointed that ESPN didn't highlight Lopez while featuring the top performances for July.

"He should have been Player of the Month," Hargrove said.

Cordova held out

Continuing to receive treatment on his right foot, Marty Cordova was held out of the starting lineup against Toronto right-hander Esteban Loaiza.

Cordova was 3-for-24 on the road trip, including home runs Tuesday and Wednesday at Tropicana Field.

"His foot's been bothering him. It progressively got worse in Tampa, and the turf here is a lot more firm and harder," Hargrove said.

Melvin Mora, who appealed his four-game suspension yesterday, started in left field, and Luis Lopez played shortstop. It doesn't hurt to get Lopez more comfortable at that position, since he'll be the starter if Mora's suspension isn't overturned.

Flannery named COO

Ripken Baseball has named Chris Flannery as its Chief Operating Officer.

Flannery will run the day-to-day operations of the organization.

Flannery, 37, most recently served as vice president of marketing for CatalogCity.com in Monterey, Calif., where he managed all customer and partner relationships, along with marketing and merchandising for the major internet shopping portal. A native of London, Flannery also served as vice president of Olwen International Direct Mail in Baltimore from 1993 to 1996.

"Chris provides our team with a great deal of business experience and the ability to take our business to another level," Cal Ripken said in a statement. "We are very excited and fortunate to have him join our team."

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