Kidney stone fails to keep Oates from ballpark


OAKLAND, Calif. -- Baltimore Orioles manager John Oates spent the early hours of yesterday morning at a local hospital after suffering from a kidney stone, but he arrived at the Oakland Coliseum on schedule.

"I'm a little weak," he said, "but I'll be all right. For about two hours there, no broken collarbone, no torn ligament, no broken finger ever came close to that."

He was released at about 9 a.m. after receiving some painkilling medication.

Martinez record

Rookie Chito Martinez doubled in the fifth inning, extending his career-opening hitting streak to six games. As far as anyone in the Orioles public relations department can determine, that is a club record. Glenn Gulliver hit safely in his first five major-league games in 1982.


What about Dave?

Right-hander Dave Johnson has turned in three strong performances during his injury rehabilitation assignment at the Class AA level, but the club apparently is in no hurry to move him back into the major-league rotation.

"I'd like to have Dave in our starting rotation when he's right and when we determine that he'll pitch better than someone who is already here," said Oates.

"That may not be in the distant future. I think he'll pitch here again, but when the timing is right."

Johnson has pitched 19 innings and given up three runs (two earned) on 13 hits for the Class AA Hagerstown Suns.

Friday night in review

Cal Ripken remained on a roll Friday night, delivering a two-run home run in the Orioles' 6-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

Ripken also had a double and a single in a 3-for-5 performance that raised his league-leading batting average to .348.

Catcher Chris Hoiles also had a three-hit performance and hit a tie-breaking home run off reliever Curt Young in the sixth to support a solid eight-inning performance by right-hander Ben McDonald (4-3).

McDonald struck out a season-high eight and gave up four hits on the way to his second victory in the three starts he has made since coming off the disabled list.

A's starter Bob Welch was ejected in the fourth inning after a disputed play at first base that led to a pair of Orioles runs. Umpire Chuck Meriwether ruled that Welch missed the bag when he covered first on a two-out chopper by Mike Devereaux. Two Orioles scored on the continuation of the play, and Welch was thrown out for arguing too vehemently afterward.

More on Cal

Ripken, who fell a triple short of hitting for the cycle Friday night, has 10 three-hit games this season and two four-hit performances. He has 39 multi-hit games, 16 shy of his career high for a season.

Eckersley loses control

Oakland relief stopper Dennis Eckersley walked Randy Milligan and Martinez back-to-back with one out in the ninth inning after giving up just one walk all season.

Eckersley has built a reputation for pinpoint control. He walked three batters during the 1989 season and four last year, once pitching to 185 batters without issuing a base on balls. His other walk this season went to former Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Greg Brock on June 4.



The A's optioned P Joe Slusarski to the Class AAA Tacoma Tigers to make room on the roster for Eric Show. . . . Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 56th game of his hitting streak at the Oakland Coliseum on July 16. DiMaggio went 3-for-4 against Indians pitchers Al Milnar and Joe Krakauskas in the final game of the streak on July 16, 1941.

Another Ripken streak

With his 19th home run Friday night, Cal Ripken moved within one homer of his 10th consecutive 20-homer season. Only seven other players have hit 20 or more in their first 10 full seasons in the major leagues. The longest 20-homer streaks -- for full seasons -- from the start of a career:

* Ted Williams (15 years, 1939-42, 1946-51, 1954-58)

* Eddie Mathews (14 years, 1952-65)

* Billy Williams (13 years, 1951-63)

* Reggie Jackson (13 years, 1968-80)

* Frank Robinson (12 years, 1956-67)

* Rocky Colavito (11 years, 1956-66)

* Joe DiMaggio (10 years, 1936-42, 1946-48)

Note: The streaks by DiMaggio and Williams were interrupted by military service.

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