Usual suspects have plenty of company as...


Usual suspects have plenty of company as slump spreads

Glenn Davis, and lately Cal Ripken, have been taking most of the heat for the Orioles' offensive slump, but they have a lot of company.

The list of who's not hot practically reads like a "Who's Who" of the team roster.

Brady Anderson is 16-for-107 (.149) in his last 26 games.

Damon Buford is 1-for-17 (.058) in his past six games and 3-for-30 in his past 10 after going 8-for-19 (.421) in his first half-dozen big-league games.

Davis, who struck out in a pinch-hitting role yesterday, is 0-for-14 and 1-for-30 (.033). Leo Gomez went 3-for-7 (.429) with two home runs against Detroit over the weekend, but was 1-for-13 (.076) in the four games against Cleveland.

Ripken has walked 10 times in his past 11 games, supporting manager Johnny Oates' theory that opponents are pitching around him.

But the perennial All-Star shortstop is 2-for-25 (.080) in his last seven games and 24-for-133 (.180) since starting the season with nine hits in his first 18 at-bats.

The bottom line is an offense that is scoring 3.9 runs per game.

Pitching steps up

The flip side of the coin for the Orioles is that they could be a lot worse off if it weren't for a pitching staff that has stepped up after a slow start.

In the seven-game stretch against the Tigers and Indians, who were the best hitting teams in the majors when the Orioles met them, the Orioles gave up only 19 runs.

The Tigers and Indians were hitting a collective .285 before facing the Orioles. They were held to a combined .247 (55-for-223) batting average in the seven games, but the Orioles were able to win only three times.

In the four games against the Indians, the Orioles had a 2.06 ERA.

Baysox to play Red Wings

The Bowie Baysox are holding a news conference this morning to announce an exhibition game June 3 at Memorial Stadium against the Rochester Red Wings.

The game will start at 7:05 p.m.

Both the Orioles' farm clubs have an open date, with the Double-A Baysox coming off a road trip and Triple-A Rochester en route to a series in Richmond, Va.

Keith Lupton, general manager of the Baysox, said yesterday that an admission will be charged, but the amount hasn't been determined yet.

"We believe this is the first time a Triple-A team has played in Baltimore since 1953," said Lupton. "It will be a showcase of talent at the upper levels of the organization."

Baines to take BP

Harold Baines will continue his rehabilitation from a rib cage injury by taking batting practice against the coaching staff for the next two days.

Baines, who previously had hit off a batting tee and in soft toss drills, took batting practice against a pitching machine yesterday. "So far everything looks good," said batting coach Greg Biagini.

It's possible Baines could be activated during the Orioles' upcoming trip to New York and the West Coast, but the club prefers to be cautious rather than rush the veteran designated hitter and risk further injury.


The Orioles wore their black jerseys for the third time yesterday. They are 1-2 with them. . . . In their two wins over the Indians Tuesday and Wednesday nights the Orioles scored more runs (13) than they had in their previous seven games (11). . . . Yesterday's loss left the Orioles with a 6-8 record against the American League's Eastern Division. . . . The win enabled the Indians to reclaim the all-time series lead, 325-324. . . . In their past 10 games (4-6), the Orioles have allowed only 26 runs, but have scored only 24.

Yesterday's crowd of 45,706 was the 13th sellout of the year for the Orioles (in 19 dates) and the 80th in the 99 games that have been played at Camden Yards. . . . The attendance for the season is 829,133, an increase of 11,312 over last year.

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