Williamson finds no joy in one-hit performance


TORONTO -- It was difficult for Mark Williamson to get any consolation from the fact that he made some good pitches last night.

Times have been tough for the Orioles reliever of late (8.10 ERA in his last nine appearances). So tough, in fact, that when things got better they were still bad.

Williamson (5-2) pitched the last 1 2/3 innings of the Orioles' 6-5, 10-inning loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. He gave up only one hit, a handle hit by Joe Carter, but a pair of errors, by center fielder Mike Devereaux and shortstop Cal Ripken, did him in.

When it was over, however, Williamson had a tough time getting past his one mistake of the night. "The walk to [Paul] Molitor killed me," said Williamson. "Especially after getting ahead."

The first pitch to Molitor was a strike, but the next four missed and the Blue Jays' DH had a free base. "He laid off some good pitches, but in that situation, even with a hitter like him, I've got to make him put the ball in play."

Fighting words

Fernando Valenzuela buzzed a curveball over the head of second baseman Roberto Alomar, but the incident never turned violent.

Alomar took a step toward the mound, but was intercepted by catcher Chris Hoiles. Angry words ensued between Alomar and Hoiles, causing both teams to congregate at the plate, but nothing came of it.

Fair is fair

Alomar was fined $100 for throwing his helmet after he was called out on strikes in the sixth. He argued with home-plate umpire Chuck Meriwether and then threw his helmet back toward the plate after he returned to the dugout.

That brought Oates onto the field to protest, since David Segui had been thrown out the day before for throwing his helmet during an argument with the same umpire. Alomar, however, remained in the game.

Who's on third?

Oates indicated yesterday that utility man Mark McLemore probably won't see a lot more action at third base this year. He played three games there and did not look particularly comfortable.

"It's not fair to him and it's not fair to the ballclub," Oates said. "That's something that needs more work. It was something that I was encouraged to do by a number of factions. I think I'm on record as saying I didn't think it would work before we did it."

McLemore may have struggled defensively, but Oates was not saying he is incapable of adapting to third base.

"I'm not saying it can't work," Oates said. "I think it's more realistic than I thought it could be before we did it. But it's something you'd have to begin in spring training."

The day after

Rick Sutcliffe's 7 1/3 -inning performance in the series opener may not have resulted in a win, but it had to ease Oates' mind a little.

"He threw the ball well," Oates said. "We knew he could do that. He has a way of rising to the occasion. I look for Sut to have a good August for us."

Sutcliffe did that last year, going 4-0 in August after an 0-5 July.

Obando returns

The Orioles did not expect to see rookie outfielder Sherman Obando in Toronto, but he arrived at SkyDome an hour before the game in uniform. Obando had returned home to be with his wife, Joan, who gave birth to a daughter -- Jenna Rosa Obando -- on Monday.

Mills goes to bat

Relief pitcher Alan Mills will take part in a promotion at the Bally's Health Center in Towson on Saturday to benefit the United Negro College Fund.

Thompson honored

The Babe Ruth Museum will hold a Hall of Fame send-off for broadcaster Chuck Thompson today at 9:30 p.m. The event will include the unveiling of a display highlighting his career. Thompson will be inducted into the broadcasters' wing of the Hall of Fame on Sunday.

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