Pennington's stint as Triple-A starter begins well

In his first start in four years, Brad Pennington pitched five strong innings and recorded the victory, as the Rochester Red Wings defeated the Richmond Braves, 5-4, Monday night.

Pennington (3-3), who was optioned to Triple-A Rochester on April 25, hadn't started a game since 1990. He gave up two hits and no earned runs.


He gave up only one hit during his final four innings, but the heat and his pitch count, which exceeded 100 after his fifth inning, forced him out of the game.

"It wasn't bad for the first one," said Pennington, who had to endure the humidity and 86-degree heat. "I still have to build on TC this. I wanted to go out to pitch the sixth, but I started to feel lightheaded."


His only difficulty was getting out of the first inning.

After leadoff hitter Roosevelt Brown reached on an error, Pennington walked Brian Kowitz (Owings Mills). Michael Mordecai followed with a double that scored Brown. Two batters later, Edward Perez's sacrifice fly drove in Kowitz.

"One thing I got to adjust was my approach to the first inning," said Pennington, who walked three and struck out two. "It was really different just sitting in the dugout while my team bats."

Another adjustment for Pennington could be married life. He proposed to Tara Hartman during the International League All-Star break at Niagara Falls.

Baseball America honors Bowie

The Bowie Baysox, who have the third-best record in the Double-A Eastern League, were named by Baseball America as the second-best team in minor-league baseball. Bowie ranked behind only the Boston Red Sox's Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket, R.I.

"On face value, it looks good for our organization," said Lee MacPhail, assistant director of player development and scouting. "We really don't look too deep into this, but it shows that we've come a long way since 1988. The days of [former minor-leaguer] Wade Rowdon are long gone."

The ratings were adjusted slightly for the different classifications of play. Seven teams in the top 10 had better records than the Baysox, but editor Alan Schwarz said the ratings were based on the prospects' talent as much as the team's performance.


The comeback kid

Rochester reliever Jim Dedrick has only two wins in 29 games this year. Both have been memorable.

His first victory came when the Red Wings rallied from a 5-0 deficit to defeat the Charlotte Knights, 12-8. His second, Thursday, came when Rochester rallied from a 6-0 hole with nine straight runs.

This and that

Paul Carey, who started the season on the disabled list with a broken wrist, hit two homers in his first two games with Rochester. He homered in seven of 15 games on a rehabilitation assignment at Single-A Frederick. . . . Outfielder Kimera Bartee, pitcher Chris Lemp and catcher B. J. Waszgis will represent the Keys at the Carolina League All-Star Game. . . . Single-A Albany (Ga.), which has had to relocate its home games to Chattanooga, Tenn., because of flooding near its stadium, has had more weather problems. Its game Wednesday was suspended in the fourth inning because of rain, and its game Friday was rained out. . . . In the International League All-Star Game, Sherman Obando went 0-for-2 with an RBI groundout. Rick Krivda pitched a scoreless eighth inning and struck out two batters. . . . After seven years wearing glasses, Rochester outfielder Bruce Dostal switched to contact lenses this week. Dostal said he is trying to avoid the stereotypes that players with glasses can't be successful at the major-league level. He went 0-for-2 in his first game with the lenses. . . . The Red Wings are a combined 8-25 on Friday and Saturday games. . . . Baysox outfielder Alex Ochoa is on a 10-game hitting streak and is hitting .324 (12-for-37) in that span . . . Outfielder Clayton Byrne was moved up from Frederick to Bowie to replace Bo Ortiz, who went to the California Angels as the player to be named for Dwight Smith. Byrne, who was batting .291 with eight homers and 39 RBIs in 75 games with the Keys, is 4-for-14 in four games at Bowie. . . . Bowie's Joe Borowski has given up no runs in his past seven appearances spanning 10 innings. . . . It has rained in eight of the first 18 games at Prince George's Stadium, but only one game has been postponed. . . . Bowie outfielder Rob Lukachyk has seven hits in his past 16 at-bats (.436) with four doubles, a home run and six RBIs.