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Anderson is first-rate hitting 2nd Former leadoff man has 9-game run streak


MILWAUKEE -- Truth be told, Brady Anderson still would prefer to lead off. But he has taken off since moving into the No. 2 spot in the Orioles' lineup Sept. 10.

Anderson had a .426 on-base average in 14 games batting second; he has scored at least one run in nine straight games. On Thursday, Anderson scored his 100th run, the second time in his career he has reached that mark.

"I think it's a natural position in the lineup for him," Orioles manager Phil Regan said. "He's getting more fastballs to hit, and he's been doing well hitting in situations. He's been doing a great job."

Anderson doesn't think the shift to the second spot necessarily helped him. "I was producing fine in the No. 1 spot," he said. "I don't know if that's the reason [for the streak] or not."

On scoring 100 runs, he said: "For me, there's nothing more important than that -- scoring 100 runs in a shortened season. That's one of my individual goals."

McDonald to start Saturday

Ben McDonald, who pitched well in four innings of relief last week, will start Saturday against the Detroit Tigers in the Orioles' next-to-last game of the season. Pitching coach Mike Flanagan gave him the news before last night's game, and McDonald reacted with enthusiasm.

"What I'm going to do is try to keep consistent with my mechanics and go from there," McDonald said. "I'm going to get a couple of bullpen workouts in between now and then."

McDonald likely won't throw more than 90 to 100 pitches, meaning that he'll be limited to about five or six innings.

The other starters the rest of the way: Rick Krivda today; Mike Mussina and Scott Erickson against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday and Wednesday; Kevin Brown or Jimmy Haynes on Friday to begin the Detroit series, followed by McDonald on Saturday and Mussina next Sunday.

Starters starring

The Orioles' starting pitchers have been on a roll, the primary reason the team's play has improved. Since Sept. 5, the starting pitchers are 8-6 with a 3.14 ERA and five complete games.

As a result, the relievers have been starved for work. Armando Benitez hadn't pitched in 14 days, Mike Hartley in 12 and Terry Clark in 10.

Around the horn

Bobby Bonilla stretched his major-league-best hitting streak to 14 games with a third-inning single. . . . Between innings last night, before the Brewers batted, a security guard stood near third base, apparently an attempt to dissuade any fan from running onto the field to Cal Ripken. During Friday's game, a fan ran onto the field to shake Ripken's hand. . . . Orioles scouting director Gary Nickels thinks his No. 35 pick from the '95 draft, Calvin Pickering, might be a sleeper. The first baseman from King High in Florida is 6 feet 3 and 280 pounds, and he mashed the ball for the Rookie-level team in Florida, hitting .500 in 60 at-bats. "He kind of reminds me of a young Cecil Fielder," Nickels said. "You hear a weight like that and you think of a big Fat Albert. But he's got a good bat."

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