Hitters continue hot winter


Hitters from the Orioles organization continued a general hot streak through last week's play in the winter leagues, while pitchers improved their ERAs, if not their won-lost records.

Orioles hitters were batting a combined .292, led by first baseman Paul Carey, who is hitting .398 through 29 games for Tucson in the Arizona Fall League, with five homers and 25 RBIs.

Meanwhile, only one pitcher, right-hander Mike Cook (1-0, 1.86), who is pitching for Santurce in the Puerto Rican League, has a winning record, though three other pitchers -- Kevin Ryan of Honolulu (2.79), Larry Shenk of Hilo (3.39) in the Hawaiian league and Dave Paveloff of Hermosillo (1.50) of the Mexican League -- have ERAs below 4.00.

In other developments, catcher Gregg Zaun continued to hit well for Tucson, batting .413 with three homers and 11 RBIs, and reliever Brad Pennington lowered his ERA to 5.06 for Mayaguez in the Puerto Rican league.

Outfielder Alex Ochoa, the Orioles minor-league Player of the Year, is batting only .250 for Honolulu under manager Lenn Sakata, a former Orioles utility player, but Ochoa has displayed a fine arm.

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