Reboulet is second to none as Alomar sub Sore Achilles' keeps Hammonds on bench

THE BALTIMORE SUN

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Utility man Jeff Reboulet has filled in admirably for injured second baseman Roberto Alomar. He had a single, a double and reached base four times yesterday, and now has seven hits in 14 at-bats since taking over when Alomar went on the disabled list Wednesday with a groin strain.

"He has been great," manager Davey Johnson said. "He's been outstanding defensively, too. He's a gamer."

Reboulet's .246 batting average does not adequately represent his contribution off the bench. He has hit in 10 of the last 11 games in which he has gotten an at-bat. He had the game-winning hit in a 12-inning game in Texas last month. And even when he's not hitting, he has found a way to help.

He walked in the third inning yesterday, then reached base three times in three innings late in the game. He doubled and scored in the seventh, singled in the eighth and walked in the ninth.

Two of a kind

Johnson likes to lump Reboulet together with starting shortstop Mike Bordick, who was the biggest contributor to yesterday's offensive bonanza, snapping out of a brief 0-for-9 slump with a long home run and five RBIs.

"They're my two workaholics," Johnson said.

Hammonds sore

Outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds was not in the starting lineup again yesterday. He has been bothered for the past several weeks by a sore right Achilles' tendon and could play sparingly for the next few days.

"His Achilles' is barking," Johnson said. "He could probably play if he had to."

Hammonds did appear late in Friday night's game as a pinch runner and stole a base.

Ripken's back

Third baseman Cal Ripken said yesterday that he is not completely over the back soreness that has plagued him the past few weeks, but he appears to be more comfortable at the plate than he was two weeks ago. He singled in his first at-bat yesterday, drove home a run in his second and walked his next two times up.

"I'm still dealing with it," he said. "It's not something you can just snap your finger and it goes away."

Johnson wants to do everything he can to reduce the wear-and-tear, so he replaced Ripken with utility infielder Aaron Ledesma in the eighth inning.

Anderson on the run

Leadoff man Brady Anderson hit his 11th home run of the season in the eighth inning and then showed his extra-base speed by legging out a triple on a ball in the right-field corner in the ninth. He's batting .333 (17-for-51) over his last 12 games with two doubles, two triples, two homers and nine RBIs.

The triple moved him past Paul Blair and into sole possession of third place on the all-time Orioles' list with 72.

Hoiles all over the place

Catcher Chris Hoiles homered in the eighth inning and reached base in each of his five plate appearances.

He also walked twice, reached on an error and doubled home a run in the ninth inning.

Friday in review

Right-hander Scott Erickson stretched his scoreless streak to 15 innings on Friday night before making a throwing error to cost himself a run. The A's went on to score a run off Jesse Orosco in the bottom of the ninth on a walk, a balk and a base hit to score a 2-1 victory and even the four-game series at a game apiece.

Erickson worked eight innings and gave up just four hits, but was not involved in the decision. Orosco walked Jason Giambi to lead off the ninth and was called for a balk by umpire John Shulock before Matt Stairs lined a ball into the right-field corner for the sudden-death victory.

The Orioles disputed the balk call, but to no avail.

"He [Shulock] said he didn't stop," Johnson said. "I said they [the A's pitchers] weren't stopping last night either. I hate to lose a ballgame that way."

Orosco didn't think he balked either, but Shulock was the only one with an opinion that mattered, so the veteran reliever tried to take it in stride.

"I've been there before, done that before," Orosco said. "I'm not going to worry about it."

Johnson wasted no time getting his veteran left-hander back in the groove, letting him pitch a hitless eighth inning yesterday.

Around the horn

When Mike Mussina struck out Brent Mayne in the fourth inning, it was his 905th career strikeout, which moved him ahead of Scott McGregor and into seventh place on the Orioles' all-time list. The bottom four spots in the Orioles' batting order combined to go 7-for-12 and reached base 13 times in 20 plate appearances. The Orioles really teed off on the A's bullpen, with nine runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings against four A's relievers.

Hits and misses

On the field: Shortstop Mike Bordick had the best offensive day of his major-league career, driving in five runs with a long home run, a two-run single and a sacrifice fly in only his second visit back to Oakland since he left as a free agent last winter.

In the dugout: Outfielder Eric Davis, who is in the midst of a 22-week program of chemotherapy to prevent the recurrence of cancer, dressed for the game and sat in the dugout with his teammates.

In the clubhouse: Manager Davey Johnson removed Mike Mussina after seven innings, but said he could have gone longer if necessary. "Moose was great," Johnson said. "It wasn't his best game and we didn't play well behind him early, but he gave us seven strong innings."

Sub on a roll

Jeff Reboulet has been in a groove in his four starts since replacing injured second baseman Roberto Alomar:

Date ..Opp. .. .. ..AB .. ..R .. ..H .. ..2B

7/30 ..Tex. .. .. ...4 .. ..1 .. ..3 .. ...2

7/31 ..Oak. .. .. ...3 .. ..0 .. ..1 .. ...0

8/1 ...Oak. .. .. ...3 .. ..0 .. ..1 .. ...0

8/2 ...Oak. .. .. ...4 .. ..1 .. ..2 .. ...1

Tot. .. .. .. .. ...14 .. ..2 .. ..7 .. ...3

Pub Date: 8/03/97

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