Baines to try to swing into shape with Baysox


Harold Baines will not accompany the Orioles to New York today, remaining behind for a rehabilitation assignment with the Double-A Bowie Baysox.

Baines, who has been on the disabled list since injuring a rib cage muscle May 4, has taken live batting practice the past three days and is close to returning to the lineup. He is scheduled to be the designated hitter tomorrow at Memorial Stadium, when Bowie plays host to Albany-Colonie.

The Baysox also are home Wednesday night, and it's possible Baines could play in that game, but that determination won't be made until after tomorrow night's game.

No. 4 connects

After seven previous candidates had failed, Leo Gomez yesterday became the first No. 4 hitter for the Orioles to hit a home run. The third baseman's eighth home run in the sixth inning enabled the Orioles to avert their sixth shutout of the year.

But Gomez had a tough day in the field, with two throwing errors that led to two unearned runs.

Ripken changes stance

For the first time since the end of the 1990 season, Cal Ripken has changed his batting stance.

After tinkering in the batting cage the last few days, Ripken abandoned his crouch position for an upright stance Saturday night, when he hit his first home run since April 28.

"It's just a matter of trying to get something started," said Ripken, whose average dropped to .209 after he went 0-for-4 yesterday.

An upright hitter for most of his career, Ripken made a radical adjustment after the 1990 season. In subsequent years he had the best and worst seasons of his life while hitting from a pronounced crouch.

In addition to the straight-up position, Ripken also used a more closed stance with his feet closer together in the past two games.

Devereaux ready

Mike Devereaux is ready to take batting practice and hopes to return to the Orioles' lineup by the end of the week.

"I want to do a lot more," said Devereaux, "but I have to be careful. So far I haven't felt any pain or discomfort and I think I'll be back before the week is over."

Buford out of lineup

Damon Buford was out of the lineup for the second straight game yesterday. He was replaced in center field by Brady Anderson, who made his first two starts of the year at his old position.

After a fast start (8-for-19), Buford has gone 3-for-34 in his past 12 games, dropping his average to .208. Mark Leonard started the last two games in left field, going 1-for-5 with a walk. His fTC fourth-inning double yesterday was his first hit as an Oriole.


The five errors by the Orioles yesterday were the most they've made in almost 10 years. They made six, against the Brewers, on June 9, 1983 -- in a 10-7 win. . . . Of the Orioles' last 15 home runs, 14 of them have come with the bases empty. . . . Yesterday's crowd of 46,564 was the largest yet at Camden Yards. The previous high was 46,560 on May 11, when the Boston Red Sox were in town. . . . Mark McLemore picked up his fifth outfield assist yesterday, tying him with Detroit's Rob Deer and California's Tim Salmon for second place in the American League. Seattle's Mike Felder has six. McLemore has played only 30 games as an outfielder.

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