Early bird tickets for Baltimore’s BEST party on sale now!

Goodwin keeps team on the run


Earl Weaver lived and died by the three-run homer, but Phil Regan cannot live on power alone.

Regan needs speed.

The Orioles are 14-1 when they steal a base. Curtis Goodwin stole his fifth last night, tying him with Brady Anderson and Manny Alexander for the team lead, and the Orioles won, 6-2.

"I guess the manager ought to give the steal sign more often," Regan said.

With Goodwin, Anderson, Alexander and Jeffrey Hammonds, Regan has speedsters at both ends of his lineup. It's a lineup that entered last night's game second in the American League in home runs, but one that can steal bases, too.

For Regan, speed and power go together like crabs and beer.

"There's nothing wrong with guys like [Jeff] Manto who hit home runs," Regan said before his third baseman homered last night in his fourth consecutive at-bat. "I think if you can surround those guys with some guys who can run, they're going to score runs if you get them on base."

While Manto and Rafael Palmeiro (11 homers) have provided the punch, Goodwin has provided the speed.

"Curtis Goodwin has been as big as Manto," winning pitcher Ben McDonald said. "He gets on and causes havoc with his speed. It makes all the difference in the world."

Goodwin got his first three-hit game last night, including a drag bunt in the third inning and a stolen base and run scored in the seventh.

Since being called up from Rochester on June 2, Goodwin is batting .472 with two doubles, three RBIs and eight runs. He has had at least two hits in eight of his nine games.

"I keep saying he can't get two hits every night," Regan said of Goodwin, who struck out four times against Randy Johnson in his only hitless game, "but he gets two hits every night."

Goodwin is one of four Orioles with the speed to steal more than 30 bases. That's a far cry from the Weaver era, when, with the exception of current first base coach Al Bumbry, the Orioles were basically a station-to-station team.

"Earl didn't believe in base stealing, he believed in three-run homers," said Bumbry, the Orioles' all-time stolen-base leader with 252. "When you have base stealers in there, you don't have to hit three-run homers to drive in runs. When the offense isn't scoring runs, you can manufacture runs."

For most of the 1990s, Anderson has been the team's prime, and at times only, base-stealing threat. No more.

"Curtis definitely could steal 50 bases," said Anderson, making a far less ambitious prediction than Goodwin's 110.

Anderson has stolen 32 consecutive bases without getting caught, one shy of Tim Raines' American League record. But he hasn't gotten many opportunities this season. Anderson said he has taken off 15 times but has only five attempts.

The Orioles are not like Regan's teams in Venezuela that were constantly on the go, but they give him some more options.

"It's a little better," Regan said. "You can steal more. You can hit-and-run more."

And when Manto stops mashing, Kevin Bass doesn't put them on Eutaw Street and Palmeiro's power temporarily dries up, the Orioles -- especially with the addition of Goodwin -- can run to victory.

"Base stealing is like hitting and pitching," Bumbry said. "It's contagious."

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad