UPS AND DOWNS
Cal Ripken -- UP -- He'll get a day off the day after he's scheduled to break Lou Gehrig's record. Well-earned.
Mike Mussina -- UP -- He'll be starting the big game on Wednesday. But he won't get the game ball.
Phil Regan -- UP -- Gets to manage the record-breaker. Can bet he won't be pinch-hitting for his shortstop.
Tony Phillips -- UP -- Years down the road, he'll be able to say that he was the first hitter to bat in the record-setting game.
Manny Alexander -- UP -- Assuming California will start one of its lefties, he'll be the answer to this trivia question: Who was Ripken's double-play partner the night Cal broke the record?
Hall of Fame -- UP -- Back up the truck for all the mementos from these two games.
Wild-Card Hopes -- DOWN -- Battered by the juggernaut from . . . Oakland. Aaargh.
"I'm never, ever going to mess with the air conditioning agan. The only switch I'm going to touch is an on-off switch
-- Mark Smith, whose consecutive-games streak ended at seven games after he cut his hand trying to fix a noisy unit.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Terry Clark's seventh-inning error Thursday vs. the Athletics ended a streak of 97 errorless innings for the Orioles.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Monday-Wednesday, vs. California. No. 2,130 on Tuesday, No. 2,131 on Wednesday; those you know about. The Orioles have had great success against California this year, going 4-2 early in the year and taking three games in a four-game series Aug. 24-27. Mussina, Wednesday's starter, shut out the Angels on four hits the last time the two clubs met.
Friday-Sunday, at Cleveland. A major test for the Orioles, because the Indians have been their toughest opponent this season. The last time the Orioles went to Cleveland, in May, they were swept and outscored in the three games by a total of 20-5. Rick Krivda and Kevin Brown are expected to get two of the three starts in this series, a help, but the Orioles will need better relief pitching.
Rick Krivda battled his way through the early innings Monday without his best stuff, and gave the Orioles every chance to win, holding Oakland to one run in eight innings.
Jamie Moyer has been hit hard in three of his last four starts, and lost his last two outings. Moyer has been a pleasant surprise for the Orioles this year, but if manager Phil Regan decides to use Ben McDonald in the rotation when he comes back, Moyer may be the odd man out.
The Orioles' disabled list. A total of 14 players this year, one fewer than the 15 players disabled in 1987, the first year the Orioles began keeping track of their number of injuries.
A MOVE THAT PAID OFF...
The insertion of Mark Smith into the starting lineup seemed to help in the last week of the recent West Coast road trip. Smith swung the bat well and made a couple of good defensive plays.
... AND ONE THAT DIDN'T
The modified pitchout called by the Orioles led to two decisive runs in a 3-1 loss to Oakland Monday, when Terry Clark threw the ball too high and too far outside.