FREDERICK -- The rehabilitation assignment of Mark Smith ended abruptly last night, but the Frederick Keys didn't need him in a 7-0, 4-1 Carolina League sweep of the Wilmington Blue Rocks in an important doubleheader.
The two wins moved the Keys (27-21) to within two games of the Blue Rocks in second-half play in the Northern Division. Frederick must capture the second half to meet first-half champion Wilmington in the league playoffs.
Smith started at designated hitter, but left the first game after bouncing into a first-inning double play. He limped along to first base, obviously still suffering the effects of the bruised shin he suffered July 22 at Minnesota.
Keys trainer Rudy Higgins said of Smith: "He obviously is not ready to play yet. We thought he was."
Smith returned to Baltimore and will be re-examined today by Orioles team doctors.
In the opener, starter Jason Rogers and Mike Trimarco combined to shut down the Blue Rocks on two singles and only one man (on an error) reached base against Trimarco, who had allowed 14 runs in five innings during his last three appearances.
"I just tried not to think about the past, throw strikes and keep the ball down," said Trimarco (5-3).
Wady Almonte (with one on) and Jim Foster hit consecutive sixth-inning homers off Marc Phillips to put away the decision.
In the nightcap, Johnny Isom, the league RBI leader, capped a four-run Frederick fifth with a two-run double.
Pub Date: 8/14/96