Rochester is next stop for Mathews He has 'normal stiffness' after 46-pitch Bowie outing


PHILADELPHIA -- Reliever Terry Mathews said yesterday that he's scheduled to make his next rehabilitation start Friday night at Triple-A Rochester before returning to the Orioles when he's eligible to come off the disabled list June 17.

Joining the club in Philadelphia for last night's game, Mathews said he had the "normal stiffness" that comes from throwing 46 pitches in three innings in his first rehabilitation assignment Sunday at Double-A Bowie.

"That's four times as many as I've thrown in who knows how long. But it feels good," he said.

Mathews, who went on the DL because of stiffness in the shoulder, allowed two runs and three hits against Reading. If he had remained with the Baysox, his next start would have come while they were in Portland. Instead, he can accompany the Orioles to Toronto and make the shorter trip to Rochester.

"After that, I'll do some side work on the 14th or 15th and then be activated on the 17th," he said.

Barring any setbacks, Mathews will be available to the Orioles for the last of their three games against the New York Yankees at Camden Yards. Until then, he'll prepare for his second game in the minor leagues since 1994, while he was in the Florida Marlins' organization.

"It's definitely different," he said. "Because I'm not spending a lot of time there, the players just sort of look at you like they're not sure if they should speak to you."

Ripken looks ahead

The arrival of Cal Ripken to a new city touched off the usual media frenzy. Interview requests came pouring in, and Ripken sat patiently in the visitors' dugout before the game, answering questions from the print and electronic media.

Most of them centered on his consecutive-games streak, which reached 2,541 with last night's start, and the Orioles' disappointing slide down the AL East standings. Signed through the 1999 season, with an option for 2000, Ripken was asked whether he knew when he would call it quits.

"I just want to play and I'll continue to play," said the 37-year-old third baseman. "I guess in some ways I'll probably be like every other player, that you have to push him out and say, 'Don't come in here and put your uniform on anymore.' I love the game that much and I want to be able to stay in it for as long as I can."

Philadelphia stories

Except for an exhibition game three years ago, this was the first time bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks had been to Veterans Stadium since the Orioles won the 1983 World Series with a Game 5 victory over the Phillies.

Returning here didn't exactly bring a rush of nostalgia.

"Maybe if there was a shot to do it again, both of us, that would be different," he said.

Hendricks does have one vivid, and somewhat odd, memory of the exhibition game: reliever Jesse Orosco misplacing his sunglasses.

"I'm usually thorough picking up stuff that's left behind," Hendricks said.

As it turned out, former catcher Gregg Zaun had grabbed them by mistake. Hardly the stuff of baseball legend.

Ripken's memories of Veterans Stadium are both exhilarating and painful.

He recorded the last out in Game 5 of the '83 Series, catching a line drive from Garry Maddox. "That put an end to a great season. It was very satisfying. I feel thankful I was part of a World Series team because you realize it's not so easy," he said.

Thirteen years later, Ripken caught the back of Chicago White Sox reliever Roberto Hernandez's hand as the team photo was being shot for the 1996 All-Star Game here. The blow, caused when Hernandez lost his balance, broke Ripken's nose.

"I'm very cautious now about taking team pictures," he said.

Batting not hit with Ponson

Adjustments keep coming for Orioles rookie Sidney Ponson.

The jump from the minors. The switch from starting to middle relief. The chance to close. The move back into the rotation.

And now? Under National League rules, Ponson must step into the batter's box tonight and hope he comes out in one piece, with his pride intact. He also has a tough act to follow. Orioles pitchers Doug Johns and Arthur Rhodes went 3-for-4 last night.

Is he looking forward to hitting?

"Me? Not really," Ponson said. "I've gone six or seven years without seeing pitches thrown at me. We'll see how it goes."

Ponson hasn't been swinging for the fences during batting practice, mostly laying down bunts and avoiding any mishaps that could add to the club's list of injuries. That's just as manager Ray Miller wants it.

"Scottie [Erickson] has probably been hitting for hours out there. He's not supposed to, but he's back there whacking," Miller said.

Around the horn

Because of an error in the Orioles' media guide, an article in yesterday's editions incorrectly stated where Eddie Murray ranks on the all-time RBI list. Murray finished his career with 1,917 RBIs, ranking seventh in history. The Phillies' Doug Glanville, who went 3-for-5, leads the NL with 29 multi-hit games.

Pitching in

Orioles pitchers last night tripled their hitting output of last season, when Mike Mussina got the only hit. However, two others got aboard as well in the two series the Orioles played in NL parks last year. A look:

Last night .. .. ..Opp. .. ..H-AB .. ..BB .. ..SO

Johns .. .. .. .. .Phi. .. .. 2-2 .. .. 0 .. .. 0

Rhodes .. .. .. ...Phi. .. .. 1-2 .. .. 0 .. .. 1

Last year .. .. ...Opp. .. ..H-AB .. ..BB .. ..SO

Key .. .. .. .. ...Atl. .. .. 0-2 .. .. 0 .. .. 2

Mussina .. .. .. ..Atl. .. .. 1-2 .. .. 0 .. .. 1

Erickson .. .. .. .Atl. .. .. 0-2 .. .. 0 .. .. 2

Erickson .. .. .. .Fla. .. .. 0-0 .. .. 1 .. .. 0

Mussina .. .. .. ..Fla. .. .. 0-2 .. .. 0 .. .. 0

Kamieniecki .. .. .Fla. .. .. 0-2 .. .. 0 .. .. 2

Orosco .. .. .. ...Fla. .. .. 0-0 .. .. 1 .. .. 0

Pub Date: 6/09/98

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