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O's ask Padres for Smith clarification Lucchino remains mum concerning resigned GM


An Orioles official attempted to contact Padres president Larry Lucchino on Friday for clarification on the status of San Diego general manager Randy Smith, two sources have indicated.

Lucchino, however, has not returned the phone call, and probably won't until tomorrow. Club officials in San Diego say the Padres want to get through the last weekend of the regular season before reaching some sort of resolution with Smith, who turned in his resignation last week.

The Orioles sought permission earlier in September to interview Smith as a possible successor to general manager Roland Hemond. But Lucchino indicated at that time he wanted the Orioles to wait until the end of the season. Now that Smith figures to be free of obligation with the Padres, it's expected that the Orioles will talk to him if they decide to replace Hemond.

On Friday, the Padres considered exercising the 1996 option on Smith's contract, to force any interested club to offer compensation in return for the right to hire Smith. However, San Diego sources indicated, Padres owner John Moores assured Smith on Friday night he will be able to depart with no strings attached.

Long and short hits

* The Orioles held a pre-game home-run derby with Bobby Bonilla, Harold Baines, Jeff Manto, Rafael Palmeiro and Mark Smith, among others. They saved their power strokes for the game -- Smith won the contest with four home runs.

* The Orioles have won eight of their past nine games and have outscored their opponents, 69-15.

"You know you just enjoy it," manager Phil Regan said.

* The last time Orioles pitchers threw a two-hitter was on June 26 at Milwaukee, when Jamie Moyer, Terry Clark and Doug Jones combined on a 2-0 victory.

* Curtis Goodwin was among the few position players who did not play in yesterday's win. He is still deep in Regan's doghouse after twice missing a bunt sign last week in the same at-bat.

Around the horn

Bonilla's sixth-inning single extended his hitting streak to a career-high 19 games. . . . Orioles' pitching prospect Rocky Coppinger was named to Baseball America's minor-league all-star team and was selected the organization's Player of the Year. . . . Ex-Orioles pitcher Dave Johnson, who worked in the club's community relations department, was the official scorer. . . . Cal Ripken left early for the eighth time this year.

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