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Angelos bemoans lack of luck

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Orioles owner Peter Angelos last night lamented his team's luck -- most of which has been bad, he said.

On Tuesday, the Tigers rallied from a run down to beat Orioles closer Doug Jones in the ninth inning, aided by bloop hits from Kirk Gibson and Travis Fryman.

"Every break that could've gone their way has gone against them," Angelos said. "Every little hit or bloop has somehow turned out to hurt them. The percentage has to even out sometime."

Angelos said jokingly, "I really think [manager] Phil Regan has a curse on him or something, because so far, almost every bit of luck has gone against him."

Webber takes inside BP

The afternoon rain wiped out batting practice outdoors yesterday, but Washington Bullets forward Chris Webber took batting practice inside. Orioles coach Al Bumbry threw to Webber, who used some of Chris Hoiles' bats and looked like a praying mantis swinging a blade of grass.

In other words, Webber was ineffective.

"I told him he's going to continue to be an All-Star basketball player," Bumbry said smiling, when asked about Webber's potential as a baseball player.

Webber took batting practice in some basketball sneakers, because Nike failed in its promise to send out some baseball shoes. (A desperate Nike rep asked the Orioles yesterday if they had any extra size 16 baseball shoes hanging around the locker.)

Webber fulfilled the main mission of his journey, getting to meet shortstop Cal Ripken.

Hamstring idles Barberie

Orioles second baseman Bret Barberie was sidelined last night with a strained hamstring, which he injured shortly after colliding with Tigers pitcher Sean Bergman on Tuesday night.

Barberie saw the replay of his head-on collision with Bergman after Tuesday's game, which knocked out Barberie's wind for several moments, and realized that the voice he heard while he was on the ground -- Hey, are you OK? -- belonged to Bergman. "That was kind of nice to see," Barberie said. "That's very respectable."

Nokes searches for No. 2

Back on April 28, in his third plate appearance of the year, Matt Nokes hit a bases-empty homer, a tremendous blast that cleared the baggy at Minnesota's Metrodome.

That home run represents Nokes' first and last hit of this season. Before last night's game, Nokes was 1-for-22 and hitting .045.

Nevertheless, he says he feels "positive" about the way he's swinging the bat. "I couldn't feel any better about the way I'm swinging in batting practice," he said.

Nokes, who did not play last night, recited something that a former hitting coach told him: "If you can hit," Nokes said, "you're going to hit eventually. . . . I trust it's going to get better, and we're going to start winning."

Around the horn

Cal Ripken played in his 2,000th consecutive game at shortstop last night. . . . Regan said that left-hander Sid Fernandez, who starts in New York this weekend, had an excellent session throwing in the bullpen yesterday. "That was the best I've seen him throw all year." . . . The Orioles started all four outfielders in last night's game, including Sherman Obando at designated hitter. Had there been a need, Regan said, Jeff Manto would be moved to the outfield. All three players taken off the active roster Sunday were outfielders -- Andy Van Slyke, Jack Voigt and Jeffrey Hammonds. "I'll tell you this," Regan said, "I miss the extra players already." . . . The Orioles' record wearing their black and orange caps: 0-7. . . . Relievers Armando Benitez and Alan Mills were tied for third for appearances in the AL before yesterday's action, with 10 apiece. . . . The No. 1 pitcher in the league for opponents' batting average (.133): Boston's Vaughn Eshelman. . . . The Orioles have just one passed ball this season, committed by Nokes on April 29.

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