Buford asks Baysox bullpen to pitch in for stretch run
The injuries and pitching problems that have gripped the Orioles have forced the Baysox to juggle their roster just as they make a push for the Eastern League playoffs. They sent pitchers north to Rochester to fill in the gaps left when Red Wing pitchers Mike Oquist and John O'Donoghue joined the parent club.
Bowie manager Don Buford got a taste of this last season when the then-Hagerstown Suns went through a rash of injuries, but this year's circumstances have forced him do things a little differently.
"What I've done is talk to the pitchers and ask them to try to give me a little bit extra," Buford said. "I've told them that I might have to stay with them a little bit longer than I like because I'm not able to go to the bullpen that easily."
Pitcher Mark Smith returned to the Baysox after a stretch with the Keys, where he went 5-6 with a 3.82 ERA. Smith took the 7-1 loss to Canton-Akron on Thursday night, surrendering all seven runs. In his previous four-game stint with Bowie, Smith had allowed four hits, no walks and no runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Meanwhile, Jim Dedrick has entered the starting rotation, thanks in large part to his work against the league's three best hitting teams: Harrisburg, Binghamton and Canton-Akron. In four starts againstthem, Dedrick, who will pitch today against Reading, has a 1-0 record with a 2.25 ERA.
NOTES: For the second straight year, OF Stanton Cameron has hit eight home runs in August. Last year he did it with the Frederick Keys. Of Cameron's 21 home runs, 15 are bases-empty shots and six are two-run homers, meaning he has
driven in 27 runs on his 21 homers. ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Rick Krivda was waiting for the results of his second Triple-A start before he commented on the jump from Double-A.
Krivda allowed one run in six innings to get the victory Aug. 14after which he said: "I think the difference is a little over-rated. But that's after one game."
The left-hander followed that by allowing one run over eighinnings Thursday against Pawtucket.
Krivda has allowed 10 hits, seven walks and struck out seven i14 innings.
* Kevin McGehee has been the International League ERA leadealmost since he accumulated enough innings to qualify, but it hasn't seemed to impress the Orioles.
McGehee, in his fourth pro season, has yet to reach the majorsbut he's trying not to fret about it.
"I'm always hopeful, but I'm trying not to think about it too mucbecause it will affect me on the mound," said the 24-year-old right-hander.
McGehee, acquired from the San Francisco Giants for LuiMercedes, is on the 40-man roster, which he thought might have given him an edge when the Orioles needed a pitcher. But McGehee hasn't pitched in relief this season, which is where Mike Oquist and Anthony Telford had the advantage.
* Third baseman Scott Coolbaugh is less diplomatic about whahe considers slights by the Orioles -- the most recent being the acquisition of veteran Mike Pagliarulo.
"I knew there was no way I'd be in their plans," Coolbaugh said"That's what makes the season so hard, knowing you're with an organization that at the beginning of the year said you'll be the backup for Leo Gomez. And when he goes down, they make all those trades. It's hard to swallow. Your pride comes in."
Coolbaugh said he has put the big leagues out of his mind fothis season. The 27-year-old signed as a free agent last season, and said he wouldn't re-sign with the Orioles.
* Ed Yacopino was loading bags on USAir flights in Pittsburgwhen Orioles assistant general manager Doug Melvin, who traded Yacopino to the Milwaukee organization in April, invited him back to the Red Wings when the team was short on outfielders last week. Yacopino had walked out on Triple-A New Orleans a month later.
"I wasn't happy from Day One," said Yacopino, who once walkeout on the Pirates organization.
Yacopino comes back to an uncertain role. Normally, he'd bbehind center fielders Bruce Dostal and Jason Alstead. But Dostal's elbow is still tender and Alstead, with 12 Triple-A games, may be overmatched as the Red Wings try to hang onto their East Division lead.
NOTES: Mike Bielecki was the fourth player to leave the Red Wings this season. Catcher Rey Palacios and left-handers Pat Clements and Steve Searcy left within the first two months. . . . Paul Carey had a 15-game hitting streak, but during the first 12 games, his average dropped three points. . . . Gregg Zaun has hit in nine of 10 games. . . . In 11 losses since Aug. 2, the Red Wings have left 103 runners on base and lost nine games by two or fewer runs as their division lead dropped from six games to one-half. . . . The return of Brad Pennington gave the Red Wings their first lefty in the bullpen since May 20. . . . Mark Smith has been playing with a sore right (throwing) shoulder for nearly two weeks. He landed on it while diving for a ball in right field. The doctors have given the former first-round draft choice the OK to keep playing. Smith has more discomfort when he bats than when he throws. . . . Telford struck out four Ottawa batters in a row Tuesday, his first appearance back with the Red Wings. . . . Chito Martinez, on the DL since Aug. 10 with a strained right calf, could be out for several more days.
Keys: Owens fills void
The Keys filled Smith's slot on the roster with first baseman Billy Owens, who was called up from the Albany Polecats, the Orioles' Single-A team in the South Atlantic League. Owens, who went 0-for-4 in his Frederick debut Thursday night, was hitting .297 with 11 homers, 66 RBI, 136 hits and 23 doubles with the Polecats.
* Vaughn Eshelman, a 24-year-old left-hander, was named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week last week, marking the second straight week a Keys pitcher earned that honor.
During the week of Aug. 8-14, Eshelman was 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA, giving up two earned runs and six hits in 15 innings. In addition, he walked just three during that span and striking out 18.
* The Keys have the upper hand in the race for the second-half Northern Division title, and would open a best-of-three series against first-half winner Wilmington on Sept. 5 at 4 p.m. at Grove Stadium in Frederick, if they hold off Prince William.
The final two games of the divisional playoff would be played at Blue Rocks Stadium in Wilmington, where the Keys close the regular stadium. If Frederick advances to the best-of-five league championship series, it would begin Sept. 8 at Grove Stadium.
NOTES: The Keys, who are averaging 4,949 fans at home, need to draw 18,000 in their final six-game homestand, which begins tomorrow, to beat their record attendance of last year. . . . One fan will win $100,000 tomorrow night if a Frederick batter hits a home run off the 100th pitch thrown by a Lynchburg Red Sox pitcher.
Suns: Boston, Henry on roll
The Suns, who have a narrow lead over West Virginia in the Northern Division of the South Atlantic League, are getting impressive production from the right side of the infield.
First baseman D. J. Boston, the younger brother of Colorado outfielder Daryl Boston, had a .322 average through Thursday with 12 homers and 85 RBI and 32 doubles, both second best in the league, along with 29 steals.
Second baseman Santiago Henry has not committed an error in his past 22 games, covering 102 chances. Henry, who drove in three of Hagerstown's four runs in the Suns' 4-3 win over Hickory on Thursday, leads the league in triples with 10, eight of them at home. Henry is just one off the franchise record for triples achieved by Dave Corman in 1982.
* Jose Silva, considered to be one of Toronto's top pitching prospects, also has performed well, since returning from a three-week absence in May because of a hyper-extended knee. Silva is 10-4 with a 2.42 ERA and is second in the league in strikeouts with 147 in just 119 innings.
NOTES: Hagerstown leads the league in grand slams (four) and doubles (225). . . . The Suns will begin their final home series of the year against Spartanburg next Sunday with a "Turn Back the Clock" Day at 2:35 p.m. The club will pay tribute to former Negro League players as well as former Hagerstown players.