Baysox's Dedrick armed for run at ERA title
If the Bowie Baysox's Jim Dedrick isn't roughed up in his final starts, he might win the Eastern League ERA title.
Although still a few shy of the required 112 innings to qualify, Dedrick has an ERA of just over 2.50, well ahead of current leader Denny Harriger of Binghamton, who does have the necessary innings. Gabe White, the league's early ERA leader at 2.16, was promoted to Triple-A.
* Relief pitching has been one of Bowie's strengths. Almost without exception, relievers got off to a strong start after joining the club.
The rundown: Chuck Ricci, no runs in his first seven appearances; Dave Paveloff, one earned run in his first 14; Rafael Chaves, none in his first six; Dedrick, none in his first 13; Mark Smith, none in his first four; Joe Borowski, none in his first six. All are right-handed.
"This goes back to spring training when John and I designed our middle- and short-men plan," said manager Don Buford, referring to Baysox pitching coach John O'Donoghue.
"We've been able to use them as planned -- closer, long, closer-long-spot starter -- and the pitchers have done a fine job adjusting to it. They've had defined roles from the start."
Small wonder that Bowie is second to Harrisburg in team pitching.
MISCELLANEOUS: OF Stanton Cameron completed a hot stretch in which 26 of his 43 hits were for extra bases. He had 34 RBI and a .674 slugging percentage during the streak. . . . Tim Holland tied his Eastern League-high of eight home runs in 1991 with a game-tying homer Monday night against New Britain.
Being named the second baseman on the International League All-Star team should do the job.
"I'm back on the map," said Hinzo, 29, the only Red Wing voted to the team by league managers, general managers and media.
The switch-hitter was batting .277 with six homers, 68 RBI and 28 stolen bases through Wednesday. He had committed 22 errors.
"My main goal this season was to make a name for myself all over again," Hinzo said. 'With expansion, there'll be jobs opening up. Hey, I'm cheap."
In Hinzo's past two seasons with Yucatan he batted over .300 each season, and last year stole 80 bases.
But the Orioles were the only team to give him a chance this spring. "Doug Melvin said I could play myself into a job or out of one," Hinzo said. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to come out and play every day."
Hinzo leads the team with 127 games played, and 145 hits. What impresses manager Bob Miscik the most is his team-leading 68 RBI, especially since Hinzo batted second in all but one game.
"Fifty is the magic number for anyone hitting one or two. He's gotten some clutch hits for us," Miscik said.
"I feel I still have something to offer a big-league club," said Hinzo, who played parts of two seasons with Cleveland."
Of the other candidates for the All-Star team, Miscik believed that Paul Carey's time in the majors cost him enough at-bats to get him named an all-star, and that the Red Wings may have cost Kevin McGehee the honor by not getting him enough victories.
* Miscik said he hasn't heard who might be recalled (aside from the players on rehab assignment) when rosters expand Wednesday. "It's a matter of who's performing in the next four days," he said Friday. "Doug Melvin has said that people who are hot at the time may get the call."
Outfielder Mark Leonard has been warming up, batting .303 with three doubles, four homers and 10 RBI in his past 19 games. Shortstop Manny Alexander was batting .308 in six games after hitting .163 in the previous eight.
Mike Oquist is 6-0 with a 2.17 ERA in his past 12 appearances. Oquist, who was the IL pitcher of the week, tied Jamie Moyer for the longest win streak of the season.
Former No. 1 draft pick Mark Smith is batting .143 in 10 games, dropping his average to .291.
* If he had a choice, Miscik might not have traded Gregg Zaun for Jeff Tackett. But minor-league managers don't get choices -- they get orders. So Miscik sent Zaun (.274, seven extra-base hits 10 RBI in 19 games) to Bowie so Tackett could catch every day.
"Part of the minor leagues is to get guys sent down from the big leagues [for] regular playing time," Miscik said. "That's the idea with Jeff. Let him face Triple-A pitching on a consistent basis for nine days and let him go back to the big leagues."
Tackett went 2-for-3 and threw out a runner in his debut Wednesday in Syracuse, and went 1-for-4 Thursday against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Miscik added Leo Gomez Friday night. With the Red Wings in a pennant race, Miscik hopes Tackett and Gomez find their swings quickly.
"Our primary objective is to get those guys ready to go to Baltimore," he said. "The best scenario is they play consistently, get their games together and in the swing of things they help us win some games."
Gomez batted fifth Friday night against Scranton. When Glenn Davis joins the team, he'll likely bat fourth as the designated hitter, allowing Carey, who has hit in 18 of 20 games, to stay at first base.
Gomez will bat either fifth or sixth. Miscik wants to keep them close to where they'd bat in the Orioles' order.
MISCELLANEOUS: The Red Wings clinched a playoff berth Thursday with their victory and third-place Pawtucket's loss. Going into Friday, their magic number for winning the division was eight. . . . OF Chito Martinez (strained calf) came off the disabled list Wednesday. The newest rotation consists of Oquist, Brian DuBois, Anthony Telford, Rick Krivda and Jeff Williams. The Red Wings have used 16 different starting pitchers. . . . Mel Wearing homered in consecutive at-bats Thursday in an 8-3 victory over Scranton that gave the Red Wings sole possession of first place. . . . The team is referring to next weekend's final trip of the season as the "Road Trip From Hell." What makes it worse is it may decide first place in the division. The Red Wings have a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call in Norfolk, Va., fly to Philadelphia, wait two hours for a connecting flight to Syracuse, N.Y., and bus three hours to Ottawa for a 7:30 p.m. game against the Lynx.
Keys: Now it's Forney
For the third straight week, the Keys produced the Carolina League's pitcher of the week.
This time it's Rick Forney, an Annapolis High grad who shut out Lynchburg, 2-0, on a five-hitter, striking out 14. It was the Keys' 12th shutout of the year, third in a seven-game period.
The right-handed Forney, 21, follows Jimmy Haynes and Vaughn Eshelman in the Keys' line of pitchers of the week.
Through Thursday, Forney was tied with Wilmington's Brian Harrison for the league lead in wins with 13, followed by Keys teammates Haynes and Scott Klingenbeck and Kinston's Matt Williams with 12 each. Forney, who was 8-2 for Anne Arundel Community College before the Orioles drafted him in 1991, and Haynes are Nos. 2 and 3 in the league in strikeouts with 167 and 162, respectively. Lynchburg's Joel Bennett leads with 205.
MISCELLANEOUS: The Keys lead the league in pitching with a 3.24 ERA. . . . The Keys tied the team record for wins in a season with No. 74 over Prince William. . . . Despite going without a stolen base in 17 straight games, Curtis Goodwin has a huge league lead with 57 to Winston-Salem's Mateo Ozuna's 31. Frederick's Alex Ochoa is third (30). . . With nine RBI in an eight-game stretch, Ochoa raised his total to 86.
Suns: Thursday punch
First baseman D. J. Boston was named the South Atlantic League's Most Valuable Player.
Boston, who is third in the league in hitting with a .319 average, was selected to the league's All-Star team by managers and coaches. He is second in the league in RBI with 88.
Thursdays have been especially sweet for Boston, the younger brother of Colorado Rockies outfielder Daryl Boston. He is batting .386 on Thursdays. Six of his 12 home runs and 23 of his 88 RBI have come on Thursdays.
* Santiago Henry was named South Atlantic League batter of the week after hitting .414 with six extra-base hits and 10 RBI. Henry, who had 18 RBI in a 19-game period, leads the league with 11 triples.
MISCELLANEOUS: John Lombardi, a .238-hitting reserve catcher, was sent to St. Catherines of the New York-Penn League. . . . With 91 home runs through Thursday, the Suns were No. 2 in the league behind Greensboro. . . . Beginning July 24, the Suns were first or tied for first in the Northern Division for 32 of the next 33 days. As the race enters the final week, the Suns, Greensboro, Fayetteville and West Virginia are still fighting for the second-half title.