Mike Oquist has made only one start for the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings, but he already has a win and a "save."
The last pitcher cut by the Orioles had to come to the rescue in the visiting clubhouse at Ottawa on Saturday after pitching the Red Wings to a 6-2 victory over the Lynx in the second game of a doubleheader.
Oquist works with his plumber father in Colorado during the off-season, and his skills came in handy when the water pipes in the clubhouse malfunctioned.
Using makeshift tools to adjust the shower heads and pipes, Oquist saved his teammates from the necessity of taking cold showers by getting the hot water flowing.
"It's all in a day's work," said Oquist, who, in his paid job, went five innings and gave up one run on one hit and no walks.
Rochester lost the first two games of the series, 1-0. Starters John O'Donoghue, Brian DuBois, Oquist and Rick Krivda all were effective against the Lynx, giving up 16 hits and two earned runs (0.78 ERA) in 23 innings.
"Given the weather and the fact that it's so early, you couldn't possibly ask for more," pitching coach Steve Luebber said.
It pains him to say . . .
Dave Collins, Bowie Baysox radio announcer and public relations man, developed a severely hoarse throat just before the team departed for Canton, Ohio.
He struggled through two victories, then got a break when Sunday's game was postponed by rain. Monday, Collins went to the doctor and was told the ailment probably was allergy-related.
"The doctor told me to drink eight glasses of water a day," Collins said. "That's enough to float a battleship."
Wearing out the opposition
Maybe the Single-A Hagerstown Suns, a Toronto Blue Jays affiliate, should forget about their regular uniform jerseys.
Forced to wear batting-practice tops through the weekend against the Augusta Greenjackets, Hagerstown swept a season-opening series for the first time in its 14-year history.
Seems the Suns' new uniforms were lost in the mail, forcing themanufacturer to make a new set.
The fourth scheduled game was rained out Sunday and will not be made up because the teams do not play again the first half of the South Atlantic League schedule.
Rochester catcher Craig Faulkner, who grew up in Georgia and Florida, never had seen snow until he reached Canada for the series against Ottawa.
"I saw it when I was coming in on the bus, and it was incredible," Faulkner said. "So, I went out on the field and made a couple of snowballs."
His teammates didn't share his enthusiasm after 4 inches of snow forced postponement of the opener Thursday, forcing the teams to play the doubleheader in which Oquist exceled.
Rochester manager Bob Miscik said he believes Manny Alexander balked at shifting to second base because "he's never played second, so it worries him.
"I think Manny's reaction was instinctive more than anything. I think he'll play wherever we ask him to."
Miscik said Alexander indicated during spring training that he wanted to show he belonged in the big leagues "and would do everything possible to get there. But he's young and still immature."
This and that
Rochester's Sherman Obando and Brad Tyler hit three-run homers for their first hits of the season. . . . Teammate Mark Smith went 4-for-7 with a home run after opening 0-for-8. . . . In four starts against Ottawa since his promotion to Triple-A late last summer, Krivda is 4-0 with an 0.69 ERA. . . . Bowie's Jimmy Haynes continues to dominate Indians farm clubs. Against Kinston with Frederick last year, he was 2-0 with an 0.38 ERA. Saturday he beat Cleveland's Double-A team in Canton-Akron, 10-1, giving up one unearned run and striking out seven. . . . Bowie's Brent Miller is Mr. April. He got the Baysox off right last year with a game-winning three-run homer in London, Ontario, and went on to hit five homers by May 1. This year, the left-handed hitter went 5-for-8 in the first two games, including 4-for-4 against lefties. . . . Single-A Albany's Matt Anderson went seven scoreless, three-hit innings when he pitched for the first time in 19 months after recovering from recurring shoulder problems. . . . Baltimore native Matt Riemer, a natural shortstop, threw out a runner at third base from right field in his first game for Albany. He switched because the Orioles' system has a glut of shortstops. . . . Hagerstown, which had attendance troubles last year, its first as a Blue Jays affiliate, drew a respectable 5,572 for its first three games despite cool weather.