Goodwin is getting more hits, attention


MILWAUKEE -- It might be premature to start thinking of Curtis Goodwin as a Rookie of the Year candidate -- Orioles manager Phil Regan says it is -- but he's moving in that direction.

Goodwin had two more hits yesterday, increasing his average to .365. Goodwin has four straight multiple-hit games, and 14 multi-hit games in his first 26 games in the majors.

"He'll have to make adjustments as he goes along," Regan said. "I think he's learning how to take pitches, and he's learning the pitches.

"It's too early to talk about that [Rookie of the Year]. If he's doing well after the All-Star break, then we'll talk."

Goodwin, called up June 2, also has 11 stolen bases, and he's not that far away from joining the league leaders in that category. Chicago's Ray Durham and Oakland's Stan Javier and Rickey Henderson are tied for eighth in the league, with 13 stolen bases. The Orioles activated Sid Fernandez after yesterday's game, and he'll start today in Toronto. To make room for Fernandez, the Orioles demoted Jimmy Myers, who hadn't pitched since being called up Friday. Regan said he regretted not being able to get Myers a chance to pitch. "He's a very popular kid here," Regan said about Myers, who looks like a Nebraska offensive lineman and earned the nickname "Big Country" from Brady Anderson. "They really took to him."

Regan said John DeSilva will start on Sunday, with Scott Klingenbeck moving to the bullpen. Part of Regan's thinking in keeping Klingenbeck and DeSilva over Myers is that, with so many fragile starters in the rotation -- Fernandez, DeSilva, etc. -- he wants as many pitchers as possible who can throw from three to seven innings. Klingenbeck has been a starter for most of the year.

Tragic comedy of errors

The three-game sweep was a harmonic convergence of sorts, the meeting of one team starting to play better -- the Orioles -- against another team falling apart. That being the Brewers, who have lost six straight games and are playing like everybody thought they would all along, making errors, starving for runs. Because of injuries to Cal Eldred, Angel Miranda, et al, four of the five starters in the Milwaukee rotation are rookies.

The Brewers' streak might have hit its peak in the eighth inning of Tuesday's 11-3 loss. Cal Ripken hit a chopper to short, which shortstop Jose Valentin fielded and threw past first baseman Kevin Seitzer. Catcher B. J. Surhoff, hustling up the line behind Ripken to keep the ball from going into the camera well for an extra base, slid on his side and reached out with his glove. But the ball bounced off the camera well, toward the field -- it was going to stay in play -- hit Surhoff in the face and ricocheted into the well, out of play. Ripken got an extra base, Surhoff got a sore face and an error and the Orioles could hear him screaming and cussing in anger and frustration as he walked back to home plate.

Focus, focus, focus

Regan talked with reliever Armando Benitez immediately after Tuesday's game, after Benitez walked two Brewers in the ninth inning with the Orioles winning 11-3. "I thought he was just getting the ball and throwing it," said Regan, "not having an idea of what he wanted to do. . . . . Even if the score is 10-3 or 11-3, you've still got to keep your concentration like the score is 1-0."

Grievance decision due today

Philadelphia outfielder Andy Van Slyke went on the disabled list Tuesday with a rib cage injury and might be out for the better part of a month.

But, Orioles general manager Roland Hemond said, that won't affect the decision whether to pursue a grievance against the Phillies in the Van Slyke-for-Gene Harris deal.

Harris suffered a serious elbow injury less than a week after being acquired by Baltimore. (He's being examined today by Dr. James Andrews).

"They are separate cases," said Hemond.

Van Slyke's injury occurred while playing last week; some within the Orioles organization maintain the Phillies knew Harris was hurting. Hemond said he will announce today whether he'll file the grievance.

Around the horn

Pitcher Ben McDonald will throw off the mound today in Toronto, for the first time since being sidelined by shoulder soreness. . . . Hemond said he has no serious trade talks in progress. . . . The three-game sweep gives the Orioles a 10-18 record in road games. . . . The Orioles are 19-9 when wearing all-black caps, 7-22 when wearing their other two styles. . . . The Orioles' first-round pick, Alvie Shepherd, attended yesterday's game with his father. Shepherd, yet unsigned, was wearing an Orioles cap. A present from the team? "No," he said, smiling. "I bought it right after the draft." Perhaps on credit; Shepherd is expected to sign for a bonus in the range of $600,000.

Padres pursue Jays' Carter

The San Diego Padres, who have had only 16 RBIs from their cleanup spot the past 40 games, have engaged in preliminary talks with the Toronto Blue Jays in an attempt to acquire All-Star left fielder Joe Carter, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Blue Jays say they will decide by the end of the week whether to start unloading several of their high-priced veterans.

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