WEEKEND: Holding runners as well as leads could determine Frohwirth's usage


NEW YORK -- John Oates admitted yesterday that how he uses Todd Frohwirth in the future could depend on the reliever's ability to hold runners on base.

"It could affect my thinking," the Orioles manager said. "It's entered my mind before.

"We've seen in the last few games when Todd's been pitching that a lot of people are running, and the scouts see that," said Oates. "We've got to work with him to do something to stop them.

"The underhanded delivery [which Frohwirth features] is a slow one and we're going to have to teach him something, maybe a slide step, to speed it up."

Since joining the Orioles May 28, Frohwirth has been a sparkling addition to the bullpen, compiling a 1.17 earned run average in 18 games, covering 30 2/3 innings.

A stolen base while Frohwirth was pitching helped set up the winning run in yesterday's 3-2 loss to the Yankees, and led to the discussion about adjustments the reliever needs to make.

"We'll try to learn from our mistakes and go on from here," said Oates, whose Orioles will be trying to break a three-game losing streak against the Yankees tonight (7:35, Channel 2).

Jeff Robinson (3-6, 4.46), who has pitched well of late without being rewarded with wins, will try to get the Orioles back on track. The Yankees, riding a six-game winning streak, will pitch Tim Leary (4-7, 6.11).

Tomorrow afternoon (1:35, Channel 2) Ben McDonald (3-3, 5.63) gets his second start since coming off the disabled list. He will face Scott Sanderson (9-3, 3.69).

Jeff Ballard (4-9, 5.14) will pitch the final game before the three-day break Sunday (1:35, HTS) vs. Wade Taylor (4-2, 5.74).

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