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Orioles' ups and downs


Chris Richard -- UP -- Rookie first baseman homered twice, had six RBIs and came within two feet of hitting for the cycle Sunday in Cleveland. Former understudy to Mark McGwire has been a pleasant offensive surprise; finding him a position remains a challenge.

Injury intrigue -- DOWN -- Scott Erickson was described as suffering elbow "inflammation" just before he underwent ligament replacement surgery. Now, the club says Albert Belle's hip is "day-to-day." Whatever.

Ryan Kohlmeier -- EVEN -- Last month, the rookie closer resembled Goose Gossage. This month, he's Karl Wallenda.

MVP voting -- DOWN -- Campaigns have begun for Delino DeShields, Buddy Groom, Jose Mercedes and the departed (and apparently ineligible) Mike Bordick. A recent BaseballBoards.com poll revealed a blank ballot enjoys popular support.

Eugene Kingsale -- UP -- The improvin' Aruban rescued Tuesday's win inside the Metrodome with a head-banging circus catch. Who slipped that pipe inside the Hefty bag?

Brook Fordyce -- DOWN -- Catcher stopped only one of first 30 base-stealers as an Oriole. Kenny Lofton went for five steals last Sunday after entering with three since July 17.

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