Umpire's strike zone makes Frohwirth nowhere man


ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Orioles reliever Todd Frohwirth doesn't complain much, but he couldn't hold back after a series of close ball/strike calls went against him during a four-run California Angels rally on Saturday night.

"There was nowhere in the strike zone that I could throw the ball and have it be a strike unless the batter swung," he said. "I couldn't find it outside and I couldn't find it inside, so I didn't know where to go with it."

Frohwirth's comments were directed at umpire Dan Morrison, whose strike zone was too tough to crack in the eighth inning of Saturday night's 6-3 loss at Anaheim Stadium.

"If I throw the ball where I threw it and don't get it [the call], then I'm going to be in trouble," Frohwirth said. "I throw 80 miles per hour. If I can't have the corners of the plate, I'm not a good pitcher. I don't throw 90 miles per hour."

The newly enlarged strike zone has been a frequent topic of discussion throughout the major leagues this year, but Frohwirth felt that it had gotten smaller on Saturday night. So did left-hander Brad Pennington, who walked in the tying run.

"I've been very consistent over the past two years or so," Frohwirth said. "I've had trouble about 10 times in the last 70 appearances, and it's because the strike zone is different every night."

Voigt's big day

Outfielder Jack Voigt had three singles yesterday to register the first multi-hit game of his major-league career.

The three-hit performance more than matched Voigt's hit total for his entire stay with the big-league club. He entered the game with two hits in 17 at-bats and raised his average from .118 to .238. Voigt was in the starting lineup in right field, spelling Mark McLemore.

Obando takes some swings

Outfielder Sherman Obando, who has been on the disabled list the past six days with a strained left hamstring, took batting practice yesterday and appears to be on schedule

return to active duty next week. He becomes eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on June 8.

Gaetti, Tingley end droughts

When Angels third baseman Gary Gaetti singled home a run in the Angels' seven-run second inning, it was his first RBI at Anaheim Stadium since Oct. 4 of last year.

Later the same inning, catcher Ron Tingley had an infield single for his first hit since Sept. 16, 1991, ending an 0-for-10 stretch. Tingley also added a long double in the seventh.

Searcy retires

Journeyman pitcher Steve Searcy, who was signed as a free agent during the winter to bolster the Orioles' organizational pitching depth, announced his retirement on Saturday. Searcy was invited to spring training to compete for a place on the major-league pitching staff, but he did not make a serious bid.

Searcy was in his ninth season of professional baseball. He spent most of his career in the Detroit Tigers'

organization, but also spent parts of two seasons at the major-league level with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Hammonds resumes roll

First-round draft choice Jeffrey Hammonds came off the Triple-A disabled list this weekend after sitting out a couple of weeks with a pinched nerve in his neck. In his first two games, he had five hits in 11 at-bats.

Devereaux contributing

Center fielder Mike Devereaux has not crushed the ball since he returned from the disabled list on Thursday, but he has contributed quietly in every game. He has five hits in 18 at-bats and has driven in a couple of runs.

The Orioles were hoping that the return of Devereaux and Harold Baines would lead to an offensive resurgence for the club, but it hasn't happened quite that way. The club is 1-3 in the four games and Devereaux and Baines are batting a combined .267. They have eight hits -- all singles -- in 30 at-bats.

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