Pennington, Buford get slow starts Gomez 9-for-27 in first 8 games


The first full week of play in the Puerto Rican winter league was mixed for Orioles players.

Outfielder Damon Buford and pitcher Brad Pennington struggled mightily, and third baseman Leo Gomez showed signs of bouncing back from his late-season wrist injury.

Buford, who spent most of the year on the Orioles' major-league roster without getting a lot of playing time, exhibited some signs of rust, managing just four hits in 30 at-bats in eight games for Santurce.

Gomez, a teammate of Buford's with Santurce, was 9-for-27 with one homer and six RBIs in his first eight games.

Meanwhile, Pennington, who pitched poorly in his appearances in the last two months, continued to struggle, surrendering three earned runs in 2 1/3 innings in three appearances for Mayaquez in the Puerto Rican league for an 11.57 ERA.


First baseman Paul Carey, who had been leading the Arizona Fall League in hitting, fell to third last week, but is still hitting .400. He also is sixth in the league in RBIs with 24. Carey's Tucson team, which is managed by Orioles coach Davey Lopes and has four other Orioles prospects on its roster, holds a commanding lead in the standings.


Catcher Jeff Tackett, outfielder-infielder Jack Voigt and pitcher Kevin McGehee are expected to report to the Zulia team in the Venezuelan league this week and join pitcher Jason Satre.

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