Saturday night sinkers by Magnante sink O's


KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Orioles and Royals went 16 innings Saturday night, and both teams just stopped hitting as relievers for both teams dominated. In fact, the Orioles had only three base-runners in the final six innings of the 7-6 loss.

But that often happens in extra innings, and Orioles hitting coach Rick Down didn't hesitate in offering an explanation.

"It's because hitters want to do a little bit more than they usually do," Down said. "They all want to be the hero. Not everybody, but in general, they want to end it with one swing. We didn't get the base on balls. A lot of times you'll see it, which is why a lot of games will continue like that."

Kansas City left-hander Mike Magnante, who had allowed 16 earned runs in 21 2/3 innings in his first 16 outings, held the Orioles to one hit during the last 5 1/3 innings. Orioles manager Davey Johnson said he thought that had more to do with !B Magnante's effectiveness than anything else.

"You've got to hand it to Magnante," said Johnson. "He pitched great. He threw a lot of quality sinkers low and away. I haven't seen him that much, but he's always a little tough on us."

Arthur Rhodes threw 2 2/3 shutout innings for the Orioles and Roger McDowell two.

Hoiles is healing

Chris Hoiles, hit on the top of his left foot by a pitch Friday, was moving much better yesterday and said he could have played last night, if necessary.

"It hurts when I squat down," said Hoiles, whose bruise had extended to the other side of his foot. "I'll probably keep it elevated on the plane tonight so it doesn't blow up. It wasn't as bad last night as it was before."

Hoiles says he could play tonight, when the Orioles play host to Texas in the first of a three-game series.

Huson eyes rehab stint

Orioles infielder Jeff Huson, coming back from knee surgery, said he could begin his minor-league rehab assignment as soon as Wednesday.

"I probably wouldn't mind going down for about 10 days," Huson said. "I wouldn't mind getting 40 or 50 at-bats. That would give me an opportunity to get a feel for playing again."

Huson played regularly in spring training but was the Orioles' 25th man once the season started, batting only eight times before he injured his knee May 19.

Assuming the Orioles don't have any injuries in the next two weeks, Huson's return would create a complicated roster situation. Johnson seems to prefer carrying 12 pitchers, for the extra depth in his bullpen, and the Orioles are already carrying an infielder who rarely plays (Manny Alexander).

Around the horn

Arthur Rhodes' fastball was clocked at 92 mph in his first inning of relief Saturday night and 95-96 mph by his second inning. . . . Orioles left-hander Kent Mercker met with Johnson on Friday, the day after Mercker said he thought Johnson took him out of a game too soon. Mercker said he thought everything between himself and the manager was OK. "Everything's fine," Mercker said. . . . Second baseman Roberto Alomar was supposed to get a day off Saturday, but he entered the game in the top of the seventh as a pinch hitter and wound up playing 10 innings. Johnson wanted to rest him against a left-hander, because Alomar's ailing left ankle gives him problems when he hits against lefties. Alomar does not have as much pain batting against right-handers, and he started last night against right-hander Tim Belcher. . . . Rhodes' 7-0 start is the best by an Orioles pitcher since Ben McDonald was 7-0 in 1994. The club record for most consecutive wins to start a season is 15, set by Dave McNally in 1969. . . . The Triple-A Rochester Red Wings placed outfielder Tony Tarasco on the disabled list and announced that outfielder Brent Bowers has been promoted from the Double-A Bowie Baysox. Tarasco has tendinitis in his right shoulder and is flying to Baltimore today to have it examined. . . . General manager Pat Gillick was quoted in Rochester as saying that the Orioles are actively trying to trade Red Wings outfielder Mark Smith and will move him if the deal makes sense to the team.

Hits and misses

On the field: The Royals had the Orioles on the run in the bottom of the fifth last night, leading 4-1, and with Keith Lockhart on first and two outs, Bob Hamelin hit a ground single to right field. Orioles second baseman Roberto Alomar bent down and acted as if he were fielding the ball, and Lockhart bought his fake, sliding into second. Lockhart, realizing his mistake, got up and tried to get to third, but was thrown out to end the inning.

In the dugout: With Chris Hoiles out with a bruise on his left foot, Gregg Zaun made his second consecutive start at catcher. If he needed to replace Zaun, Orioles manager Davey Johnson said he would employ B. J. Surhoff, a former everyday catcher, behind the plate.

In the clubhouse: A published report yesterday quoted an anonymous Orioles official as saying that Cal Ripken has to realize his consecutive-games streak must end sometime. But Orioles assistant GM Kevin Malone said last night: "We have not discussed asking Cal to take a day off. The move to third has

been discussed, but not giving him a day off."

Pub Date: 6/17/96

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