Oates leads off 2nd half with Anderson atop order


For the first time since his return from the disabled list one week ago, Brady Anderson was back in the leadoff spot.

Anderson replaced Harold Reynolds, who recently ended a team-best, 15-game hitting streak at the top of the batting order. Reynolds, who led off 19 straight games for the Orioles, went back to the ninth spot in the order.

"It's not that big of a deal," said Anderson, who had hit eighth after returning to the lineup following a bout with chickenpox. "Sure, the leadoff spot is more important because you score more runs and the best hitters on the club are hitting behind you. But I just want to go out and play wherever they put me."

Orioles manager Johnny Oates had begun thinking of the lineup on Sunday, but made the decision yesterday afternoon.

"I don't know whether it is temporary or permanent," Oates said. "Harold did a great job for us at the leadoff spot. He hit well and got on base a lot.

"[But] Brady was good enough to hit leadoff for us last year, he is good enough to hit there this year."

Anderson went 1-for-2 and walked twice to raise his average to .239. He is 5-for-17 since returning to the club, and last night he stole his first base since June 9.

After moving into the leadoff spot, Reynolds had raised his average to.267 and on-base average to .352.

Reynolds, who went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI last night to increase his average to .274, is not fazed by his drop to the bottom of the order, which is unlike his reaction when he was in Seattle.

"It's nice to lead off, but it really doesn't matter after once through the batting order," Reynolds said. "It was different hitting ninth in Seattle. I could sit in the dugout there and think I could be hitting leadoff in that lineup. Here I can't say that. We have Brady who does a great job at leadoff."

MRI for Gomez

Third baseman Leo Gomez, who is on the disabled list with tendinitis in his left wrist, underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam yesterday. He reported that his wrist is still "a little sore."

Olson's dad to coach U.S. team

Bill Olson, father of Orioles closer Gregg Olson, has been named coach of a team of 13- and 14-year-olds that will represent the United States in a tournament in Mexico next month.

"It's part of a developmental program run by the InternationaBaseball Federation," said Olson, in town to visit with his Orioles son. "All of the Pan-American countries, including Cuba, will be represented."

The team will train in Dallas for 10 days before going to Mexico.

Olson, a high school and American Legion coach in Omaha, Neb., is no stranger to international competition, having previously coached U.S. Junior Olympic teams.

Change in time

The year between the past two All-Star breaks has meant a big difference to the Minnesota Twins. A year ago they started the season's second half with a 53-34 record and had a two-game lead in the American League West.

At that time the Twins were hitting .282 and had a team ERA o3.54. This year they are 36-50 after last night's loss with a .264 batting average and a league-worst 5.20 ERA. Still, the Twins are only 9 1/2 games out of first place.

Puckett on the move

Kirby Puckett was playing his third different position in as many games when he started in right field last night. He played his customary center field throughout the first half, then started in left field in Tuesday night's All-Star Game.

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