Mussina, progressing well on return from DL,...


Mussina, progressing well on return from DL, pitches 0) 7-inning complete game

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Mike Mussina pitched his first complete game of the season Friday, a seven-inning victory over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons in the first game of a doubleheader.

Mussina has pitched longer -- he completed eight innings oJune 7 -- but the Rochester Red Wings are being careful not to overwork the right-hander, who missed one start and then went on the disabled list May 5 because of a strained muscle in his right shoulder.

"We're building him up slowly," manager Greg Biagini said after recent start that lasted 99 pitches and seven innings in an 8-3 victory.

"I don't think about it," said Mussina, scheduled to start last nighagainst the Pawtucket Red Sox. "I hope they don't leave me out there to die if I'm not feeling well. It's their decision if they want me to come out early. I can't complain with the way I'm throwing. I get my innings, six or seven a start."

Mussina still treats the injured shoulder with electric stimulation.

Mussina (7-3 going into last night) moved into the top 10 in thInternational League with a 3.08 ERA and the top five with 78 strikeouts.

* Third baseman Craig Worthington continues to nurse his sorhamstring. He did not play in either game of a doubleheader Friday, and played only one game of Monday's doubleheader. "We're not going to do anything to rush him into it," said coach Mike Young, who ran the team over the weekend while Biagini returned to his North Carolina home to take care of personal business. Biagini had said that Worthington at one point thought his hamstring was at 100 percent, but then the discomfort traveled up his leg.

* Israel Sanchez is 6-0 with a 2.78 ERA since joining the rotatioMay 25. He had allowed six earned runs in 20 innings of relief. "Not that I don't like relieving, but I have more control over what I can do with the game when I start," Sanchez said. "I like the idea of being able to win."

* MISCELLANEOUS: * Chito Martinez, who leads the IL with 19 home runs, will represent the Red Wings in the Triple-A All-Star Game Wednesday. . . . Left-hander Jim Poole is 7-for-7 in save opportunities, even though he blew a victory in an extra-inning game last Thursday against Syracuse. . . . Right-hander Chris Codiroli was released to make room for Jose Mesa. . . . Tommy Shields has hit in 6 straight games, with 2 homers, 6 RBI and 2 stolen bases. . . .

Left-hander Arthur Rhodes, who missed nearly a month with a shoulder injury, is the only Hagerstown Suns player named to the Eastern League squad for the Class AA All-Star Game Wednesday at Huntsville, Ala.

Rhodes is sizzling since he returned from the disabled list. In hi past five games, he has pitched 20 1/3 innings to an ERA of 0.44, allowing one run and eight hits. The league has batted .121 against him in that span, and he is averaging 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings.

In his most recent start, against league-leading Canton-Akron Rhodes went seven innings and permitted one hit and one walk (that intentional) while striking out seven. He did not have a 3-2 count until his final inning in a game the Suns won, 1-0. It was his longest outing since May 3.

He was the only Hagerstown player on the DL until fellow pitche Jeff Bumgarner was sidelined with an elbow problem last week.

* MISCELLANEOUS: Dave Johnson was the fifth Oriole to rehab with the Class AA Suns. The others were Steve Finley (.407 in 11 games in 1989) and 3 1990 visitors, Ben McDonald (0-1 in 3 starts), Mike Devereaux (.250 in 4 games) and Brady Anderson (.382 while hitting safely in all 9 games). . . . Ken Shamburg, the league leader with 26 doubles, has been slumping and missed his first game of the season Sunday. "That did me good," said Shamburg. "I didn't have a good time sitting out, but I think it did help because I found out what a big baby I've been." Shamburg hasn't had a multi-hit game since June 10 and batted .178 in that month. . . . Rod Lofton has a 7-game hitting streak and has raised his average almost 100 points since May 28. He was the club's best hitter in June (.356) and he has only 1 error in 27 games. . . . Mike Oquist leads the league with 89 strikeouts but has a 4-8 record. . . . Three Suns, C Mike Lehman, 3B Tim Holland and SS Ricky Gutierrez, have the top fielding percentages at their positions in the league.

Kent Baker


The Frederick Keys, defending Carolina League champions, aren't making much movement in the standings, but the player moves are accumulating.

Foremost was the release of pitcher Zachary Kerr, the team's all-time leader in wins, innings and strikeouts and the winning pitcher last season in the title-clinching game.

Kerr's age (25) and arm problems this spring conspired against him. He tried to come back from extended spring training, but went 2-3 with a 5.04 ERA in eight games and steadily declined.

In addition, infielder Keith Kessinger was traded to the Cincinnati Reds organization for future considerations and infielder Brad Tyler and pitcher Rob Blumberg were promoted from the Midwest League.

* MISCELLANEOUS: The Keys have 2 players on the disabled list, Pat Hedge (back) and T. R. Lewis (out for the year after shoulder surgery). Jason Alstead was reinstated to replace Hedge. . . . Catcher-DH Ed Horowitz has climbed to sixth in the league in batting (.307) after recovering from an injury. Teammate Sergio Cairo is fourth at .312. . . . Roy Gilbert, in his third year at Frederick, is the Keys' career leader in stolen bases, hits, runs, at-bats and games.

Kent Baker

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