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Percibal sharp in return Keys sweep; Minor leagues

Billy Percibal's long road back has gotten a trifle shorter.

Once one of the brightest Orioles prospects, Percibal has been trying to rebound from Tommy John-type surgery on his pitching elbow that kept him idled for more than 1 1/2 years.

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Last night at Grove Stadium in Frederick, the right-hander took another step forward, winning for the first time since Aug. 13, 1995, in the Keys' 4-0 Carolina League triumph over the Durham Bulls.

The game was the completion of a game suspended June 21, and Percibal (1-2) began where it was halted -- with one out in the top of the fourth. He went 3 2/3 scoreless innings and struck out seven.

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In the seven-inning nightcap, Rick Short hit a two-out, two-run homer in the seventh to complete a Keys sweep, 4-2.

The outing was Percibal's fourth with the Keys, and the last two have been untainted.

"The first and second time, I had no control," said the native of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. "Now, I'm ready."

Sea Dogs 5, Baysox 2: Mark Kotsay and Kevin Millar each homered as Portland tagged Joel Bennett for five runs in a Double-A Eastern League game.

Alley Cats 8, Shorebirds 7: Delmarva scored twice in the ninth, but a double play ended a bases-loaded threat in a Single-A South Atlantic League game in Charleston, W.Va.

Ryan Minor had two homers, two doubles and five RBIs for Delmarva (62-54).

Pub Date: 8/07/97



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