While Hammonds counts DL days, the hits...


While Hammonds counts DL days, the hits keep coming for 0) Smith

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Jeffrey Hammonds is on the disabled list while Mark Smith runs his hitting streak to 19 games. Which gets more attention?

Smith hasn't tried to match the Orioles' most recent No. 1 pick inewspaper clippings.

Smith, the forgotten prospect, has the edge where it matters -on the field. The Orioles' top pick in '91 was second in the International League with a .358 average before going 1-for-4 and dropping to .355 on Friday. He also ranked among the leaders in RBI with 30.

Hammonds' injured right trapezius muscle put him on the DL lasweek, and Smith continued to be the Red Wings' most consistent producer. He has gone 39-for-82 with seven doubles, four homers and 21 RBI during the streak that raised his average from the low .200s.

Smith's 19-game streak tied Damon Buford for the team'longest of the season, and is tied for second-longest in Triple-A this year. Smith's streak contains 13 multiple-hit games.

"It's a game of confidence, and he's got all the confidence in thworld," manager Bob Miscik said.

Miscik said Smith is a steady outfielder who is faster than hlooks, but with his above-average arm and ability to read the ball off the bat, is suited to right field.

"He adds to the pleasant problem the organization has of beindeep in outfield prospects," Miscik said.

* Scott Coolbaugh and Bobby Dickerson hit grand slams in 12-run second inning Sunday in a 16-2 win over Columbus. "I've seen big innings, bigger than 12 runs," Miscik said. "I never saw two grand slams in one inning." It was believed to be the first

double-slam inning in International League history.

NOTES: Paul Carey was fourth in the league in average at .346, tied for fourth in homers with seven and tied for fourth in RBI with 26 going into Friday's games. . . . Anthony Telford ranked third in ERA at 2.23, but isn't likely to get back into the rotation. Todd Stephan took Jamie Moyer's spot Wednesday, and could stay for as long as Moyer is with the Orioles.

In the case of Jim Dedrick, Bowie Baysox pitcher, it is the numbers that stand out.

Foremost is 0.00, his ERA six weeks into the season. In 23 1/3 innings of relief work, opponents are trying to score against him without the aid of an error.

Then there is .143, the batting average foes have compiled against Dedrick in 13 games. That figure leads the Baysox staff.

But the most striking number is 33. That is the round of the 1990 draft on which the Orioles selected Dedrick upon graduation from tiny Southern California College.

"That was the first time I was taken in the draft," said Dedrick, 25. "But it didn't matter. Just to be drafted was all I wanted."

NOTES: Tim Holland's 11-game hitting streak entering the weekend was the longest of the season for the Baysox. He also had a hit in the game against New Britain that was suspended in the fourth inning. Holland had three homers, 11 RBI and 10 runs scored during the streak. . . . Chito Martinez took the trip, but has returned to the disabled list with a strained knee.

Kent Baker

Suns: Painful times


HAGERSTOWN -- The injury bug has struck the Suns, who are trying to keep pace with first-place Greensboro in the Northern Division of the South Atlantic League.

Two starting pitchers have been injured in the past week, including ace Jose Silva (4-3, 2.80 ERA), whose status is day-to-day after he strained his left knee against Charleston. Silva had a one-hit bid with nine strikeouts in the fifth inning when he had to leave the game. Left-hander Levon Largusa (3-1, 2.17) will be missing much longer. Largusa injured his elbow during his last start on May 16. The injury turned out to be a fractured bone, and he may be out for the season.

Regular catcher Angel Martinez is on the disabled list and isn't expected back until mid-June, and outfielder Rickey Cradle cut his right hand against a fence and has been confined to pinch running.

NOTES: 1B D. J. Boston has been on a 13-game tear with a .412 batting average and 10 RBI.. . . . The Suns received right-handers Lee Daniels and Adam Meinershagen to shore up the pitching staff. Daniels was 0-1 at Dunedin of the Florida State League, Meinershagen was in extended spring training.

Kent Baker

Keys: Rain hurts attendance


FREDERICK -- The cool and rainy weather is undermining the Keys' attendance. The team drew 468 and 659 for consecutive games last week. After 22 home dates, the Keys had averaged 3,390 and attracted 74,574 fans, third in the Carolina League to Wilmington (Del.), a new franchise, and Durham.

NOTES: P Scott Klingenbeck was placed on the 15-day disabled list with arm problems. C Chris Gresham was forced to the mound when the Keys ran out of pitchers. He went an inning, allowing two hits, a walk and a run in a 13-2 loss to Durham. . . . IF Dan Ramirez, on the disabled list with a fractured hand, is expected back on the current road trip.

Kent Baker

Minor-league notebook

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