ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Wings left-hander Moyer finds comfort zone
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- If Jamie Moyer gets any more comfortable on the mound, he'll be lounging in a La-Z-Boy and delivering the pitches by remote control.
The Rochester Red Wings left-hander has won his first two starts and has a 1.42 ERA. Moyer, 30, never known as a strikeout pitcher, has struck out 11 in 12 2/3 innings.
He has pitched four of his 10 professional seasons in the majors. The Opening Day starter on a veteran pitching staff didn't let his few weeks in big-league camp distract him from his real purpose this season.
"I want to get off to a good start," said Moyer, who was grateful to be sent to Triple-A so he could get the innings to establish his control. "Whether I'm here the whole year or gone tomorrow, I need to do what Jamie needs to do."
Moyer never gave more than a passing thought to replacing Fernando Valenzuela in Baltimore, mainly because he thought the Orioles weren't going to make a hasty move. "I don't think you can judge anyone's career on one outing," he said.
Brad Pennington's promotion leaves the Red Wings looking for a bona fide closer for the fourth straight season. They haven't had a true closer since 1989, when Mark Huismann recorded eight saves before his May 21 promotion. In the past four seasons, no Red Wing has had more than 10 saves (Jim Poole in '92).
Since 1987, when Mike Kinnunen led the IL with 16 saves and the team tied for the league lead with 41, the Red Wings never have finished better than tied for fourth.
NOTES: Right-hander Anthony Telford allowed three of his first six inherited runners to score. He entered two games with the bases loaded, and once allowed all the runners to score. . . . Catcher Rey Palacios went on the disabled list Thursday because of tendinitis in his right shoulder. The Orioles signed Darrin Campbell from the White Sox organization to take Palacios' place on the roster.
In order to keep left-handed starter John O'Donoghue on his regular day, veteran Don Schulze was forced to miss his first start. Schulze, 30, has pitched 13 seasons, the last three in Japan. O'Donoghue, 23, the only prospect in the rotation, is in his fourth pro season. "As a young pitcher, he needs consistent innings," manager Bob Miscik said. Schulze was scheduled to start yesterday in Richmond, but was bumped again, this time for Valenzuela.
Center fielder Damon Buford stole a base in each of his first two games, but none in his next three. Buford had three doubles and a triple in a span of five hits. . . . Jack Voigt led the International League with a .435 average. He collected at least one hit in each of the first six games. He has a 12-game hitting streak dating back to last season. . . . Third baseman Scott Coolbaugh collected a hit in each of the first five games.
The Red Wings defeated the Charlotte Knights and former Oriole Bob Milacki Wednesday, 5-2. Ex-Oriole Sam Horn struck out four times in the game.
He is a tall, rangy right fielder who has resurrected himself in the Orioles system after the New York Mets exposed him to the Rule V draft.
His big goal this season is to decrease the 121 times he was a strikeout victim while playing for Single-A Frederick last summer.
But today, as a member of the Double-A Bowie Baysox, Stanton Cameron remains an interesting commodity, the collector of 29 home runs in 1992 while playing in a tough park for power, one with a three-tiered set of advertising billboards for a slugger to clear.
"If he has another good year, the Orioles will certainly have to consider protecting him [on the 40-man roster]," said his Baysox manager, Don Buford.
Cameron can hit some prodigious shots and he should be a favorite of the old-new Memorial Stadium crowd.
"I felt like I got a fresh start with the Orioles," said Cameron, who hit only .185 with two homers at St. Lucie in 1991. "I had gone to school the year before and when baseball started, I didn't swing the bat and had a bad year. I think the Mets gave up on me and I lost confidence."
In the first five Baysox games, Cameron struck out only once and went 8-for-22 at the plate with a homer and two doubles that rattled off outfield walls.
As a Double-A player (considered the pivotal point en route to the majors) who is eligible for minor-league free agency next fall, Cameron needs a productive year and knows it.
"Every year is a big one," he said. "I'll just try to be consistent and put up the best numbers I can. As for the strikeouts, I'm just trying to take what the pitcher gives me, be selective and approach breaking pitches better."
NOTES: Second baseman Brad Tyler has continued his hot hitting from spring training when he batted .405 with 11 RBI and 11 extra-base hits. The leadoff man had two homers and two triples and hit in five of the first six games. . . . Rafael Chavez, signed as a six-year free agent, had three saves in his first three appearances. He set the California League record last year with 34. . . . Jeffrey Hammonds already had a six-game hitting streak and a four-hit game in the first week. . . . Jim Wawruck enjoyed four multiple-hit games in the first six and scored a run a game.
Suns: Stadium spruced up
HAGERSTOWN -- Municipal Stadium has been dressed up for the Hagerstown Suns' first venture into the Single-A South Atlantic League as a Toronto Blue Jays affiliate.
Home and visiting clubhouses have been renovated, a souvenir store and advance ticket window have been added and new offices will be completed within the week.
A chain-link fence from right field to right-center has brought in home-run distances from five feet to 25 feet in the spacious park, with the Suns' bullpen being installed in right-center.
In addition, the team is selling reserved grandstand seats at $5 for the first time.
NOTES: The Suns roster includes 12 players who stand 6 feet 3 or taller. . . .
Three members of the roster have relatives who played in the majors -- Steve Renko Jr., Mike Coolbaugh (brother Scott) and D. Boston (brother Daryl). . . . In the first three dates, the team averaged 2,030 fans, roughly the same as last year's average. . . . Catcher Angel Martinez is tied for the league lead with three home runs. . . . Hagerstown has perhaps the youngest tTC groundskeeper in baseball, 22-year-old Andy Yenchko. . . . Lonell Roberts had five steals to tie for the early league lead.
Keys: 2 pitchers on rebound
FREDERICK -- Former major-leaguers Stacy Jones and Brian DuBois are attempting to rebound from arm problems with the Frederick Keys, but the first results weren't overly satisfying.
Jones and DuBois pitched in the same game, a 6-5 defeat to the Prince William Cannons, with DuBois getting the loss in 2 2/3 innings of one-run relief.
The ex-Detroit Tiger left-hander, who rose in the Orioles system, was the more effective of the two pitchers, allowing three hits and striking out four.
As the starter, Jones permitted seven hits and five runs in four innings. He was with the Orioles briefly in 1991.
* The Keys already have been stung by injuries. Infielder Dan Ramirez is expected to miss four to six weeks after a pitch fractured his hand. His place on the roster was taken by Greg Castaldo, who has been having hamstring problems.
Pitcher Scott Klingenbeck was out for the first few days after experiencing an allergic reaction to an insect bite in spring training.
He returned to start Thursday night and had an excellent outing, holding Winston-Salem to four hits for five innings.
f,gereg,7.5,8 NOTES: The Keys' staff led the Carolina League with a 2.78 ERA after the first six games, but gave up nine home runs in the first seven. Jose Millares was the only Key with two homers in the first week. . . . Jimmy Haynes struck out 14 in his first 14 innings spanning two starts. . . . Curtis Goodwin was tied for the league lead with five stolen bases.