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Sabo trade rumors picking up


Now that Fred McGriff has been traded to the Atlanta Braves, the most intriguing Orioles trade rumor involves Cincinnati Reds third baseman Chris Sabo.

Reports out of Cincinnati are that the Reds are shopping Sabo and that the Orioles are one of the teams with interest.

Orioles general manager Roland Hemond declined to comment, but with Leo Gomez on the disabled list after a prolonged slump, Sabo could be a logical fit if the price is right. Sabo can be a free agent after this season and the Reds apparently have decided he won't be back.

The decision the Orioles would have to make on Sabo would be whether they can afford to give up a prospect for a possible short-term fix. Prospects that have been mentioned are outfielder Damon Buford, who has hit .233 in 31 games with the Orioles; outfielder Mark Smith, the 1991 No. 1 draft choice, who is hitting over .300 for the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings; and left-handed pitcher John O'Donoghue, also at Rochester.

Taking the offensive

The Orioles had nine hits in yesterday's win, the 11th straight game in which they've accumulated at least that many. In their past 10 games the Orioles are hitting .314 (110-for-350), raising the team batting average from .255 to .262.

Mike Devereaux has hit in all eight games of the current homestand (14-for-35, .400) and went 8-for-16 against the Twins. Mark McLemore, who has hit safely in 10 of the past 11 games, had three hits yesterday and was 7-for-16 in the four games against Minnesota.

Cal Ripken's hitting streak was extended to nine games with his run-scoring single in the first inning. He is 15-for-36 (.417) during the streak, raising his average to .235, the highest it has been in more than two months (.237 on May 15).

Attendance hits 2 million

Yesterday's crowd of 46,208 put the Orioles over the 2 million attendance mark on their 45th home date of the year, the earliest in club history that figure has been reached.

Only six times in baseball history (three this year) has a team reached 2 million in attendance in fewer than 45 dates.

If you haven't been yet. . .

The Orioles are virtually sold out for every home game until September. Less than 500 tickets remain for games tonight and tomorrow night against the Kansas City Royals and only scattered single seats remain for Wednesday's afternoon game.

For the Boston Red Sox series July 30-Aug. 1, tickets are even tougher to get, with only scattered single seats available. Standing room only tickets, which go on sale about the time the gates open, are available for every game.


Before yesterday, the Orioles had been outscored 17-2 in the first inning of the first seven games of this homestand.


The Orioles reached the 2 million mark in home attendance yesterday. Fastest to 2 million in major-league history:

Year .. .. .. ..Team .. .. .. ..Dates

1993 .. .. .. ..Rockies .. .. .. .36

1993 .. .. .. ..Blue Jays .. .. ..41

1992 .. .. .. ..Blue Jays .. .. ..41

1991 .. .. .. ..Blue Jays .. .. ..42

1993 .. .. .. ...Braves .. .. .. .43

1990 .. .. .. ..Blue Jays .. .. ..44

1993 .. .. .. ..Orioles .. .. .. .45

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