B. Ripken to join up with Keys and Suns


Bill Ripken is scheduled to begin his rehabilitation assignment tonight in Frederick when he will be the Class A Keys' designated hitter against Peninsula.

Ripken, who has been on the disabled list with a strained rib

cage since July 15, may then dabble at second base for the Double A Hagerstown Suns tomorrow night.

"If he's able, that's the plan," manager John Oates said.

* JOHNSON JOLTED: Dave Johnson, the Orioles' starter yesterday in the no-hit 7-0 loss to Chicago, threw 47 pitches in 1 1/3 innings and was battered for eight hits and four runs.

Two runs crossed on Frank Thomas' first-inning home run, his 23rd. In the second inning, Thomas was deprived of another homer by Mike Devereaux. The centerfielder leaped at the fence, reached over and momentarily had the ball in his glove. As he came down, the ball came out but dropped on the field for a double.

"It did hit the grass, though," Devereaux said, lamenting the fact the ball didn't stay in his glove.

Johnson has the Orioles' only win in the first seven games of this homestand. Until yesterday, he was 11-1 this season when pitching after an Orioles defeat.

Asked what's next for Johnson, Oates said, "I see no reason why he shouldn't start."

* MOOSE'S STREAK ENDS: Randy Milligan's career-high hitting streak ended at 11 games when he went 0-for-3 against Wilson Alvarez.

* SPEAKING OF STREAKS: The Orioles' five-game losing streak is one shy of their longest slide of the year, June 8-14.

The White Sox have won seven straight, 17 of their last 20 and 35 of 47. They've won nine straight on the road, dating to July 14.

* POOLE NICKED: Reliever Jim Poole allowed a single to the first batter he faced as an Oriole after his recall from Triple A Rochester, then retired 23 of 26 batters, all three reaching on errors. That was 7 2/3 hitless innings -- until yesterday.

Arriving in the sixth for Todd Frohwirth, Poole was nicked for singles by Robin Ventura and Thomas, then retired eight straight before departing.

* PULLING HIS WEIGHT: Despite his 0-for-3 yesterday, Cal Ripken has produced 125 of the Orioles' 454 runs (28 percent) this year.

The last time a player had such a large percentage of his team's runs, at season's end, was 1985. Kansas City's George Brett (28 percent) and Atlanta's Dale Murphy (30) both did it that year.

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