KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Orioles first-base coach Davey Lopes has been named manager of the Tucson Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League.
It will be the first managing job for Lopes, 47, who has been othe Orioles' staff for two years after serving four years with the Texas Rangers.
"I look at this as a twofold opportunity," said Lopes. "It will givme an idea if I want to pursue this [managing] -- and if I do, it will give me some background. They won't be able to say I haven't managed."
After finishing a 15-year major-league career with the HoustoAstros in 1987, Lopes turned down offers to manage in the minor leagues. "I felt at the time that it was more beneficial to stay in the big leagues," he said.
Under his current setup, Lopes can remain in the big leagueand get some managing experience at the same time.
"I'm smart enough to know if I want to keep my name in the [managing] pool," he said. "If not, I'll take it out -- I don't have any problem with that."
The Orioles will be one of five teams that will supply players fothe Tucson team. The Arizona Fall League begins play Oct. 4 and has a 54-game schedule.
Lopes will be assisted by coaches Ron Washington and JacBilling-ham, one of whom would serve as interim manager if the Orioles are involved in postseason play.
Olson doing number on foes
After a slow start, Gregg Olson quietly is compiling some impressive numbers.
The Orioles' closer gave up a home run to the first batter he faced this season (Texas' Doug Strange), but hasn't given up one since.
In his past 27 games, Olson has pitched to an 0.76 ERA (twearned runs in 23 2/3 innings) and recorded 19 saves in 20 opportunities.
He set a club record for saves in a month with 11 in June and has converted 13 in a row.
Olson's next appearance will tie him with Sammy Stewart (307for 10th place on the club's all-time list. Mark Williamson is in ninth place with 313, seven behind Dennis Martinez.
Bucking the percentages
As successful as the Orioles' bullpen has been, some of the numbers are the reverse of what you might expect. Left-handed xTC batters are hitting .340 (8-for-25) against rookie left-hander Brad Pennington, and right-handers are batting only .172 (10-for-58).
And Williamson, a right-hander, likewise has strange figuresRight-handed hitters are hitting .311 against him (37-for-119), and left-handers have a .237 average (18-for-76).
Of all the relievers, left-hander Jim Poole has restricted opposinhitters to the lowest average -- .167, which is two points higher than his career mark. During Poole's career with the Orioles, right-handed batters have hit only .162 (17-for-105) against him and left-handers have hit .168 (19-for-113).
Williamson, incidentally, has recorded 40 wins in relief during hiOrioles career. Only Dick Hall (58), Tippy Martinez (52) and Stewart (44) have more.
The Orioles and Pirates share the major-league lead with 46 games on the road. . . . Fernando Valenzuela has pitched 15 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 3.98.