- The Washington Times - Friday, August 25, 2000



CHICAGO Jose Mercedes held the Chicago White Sox hitless into the fifth inning and former Sox catcher Brook Fordyce had three RBI as the Baltimore Orioles yesterday salvaged a split of the two-game series with an 8-5 victory.
Mercedes (9-5) allowed three runs and six hits in 6 and 2/3 innings. He held the White Sox without a hit until Carlos Lee's one-out single in the fifth.
The right-hander outpitched veteran Ken Hill, who was making his debut for the White Sox. Hill, who was signed after being released by Anaheim this month, was expected to give the White Sox's beleaguered starting rotation the lift. But he didn't make it past the third inning. Baltimore jumped on the right-hander for six runs and five hits.
Fordyce, traded from the White Sox to the Orioles last month, hit a two-run single and a sacrifice fly. Doing it against his former team, he said, was no big deal.
"I just go out there and play," said Fordyce, who has had hits in 15 of his 19 games with the Orioles. "I just had some situations where I could knock some runs in."
Trailing 6-0, the White Sox broke through in the sixth on Jose Valentin's RBI single. Herbert Perry's run-scoring double and an RBI single by Chris Singleton in the seventh finished Mercedes, who is 6-1 since the All-Star break.
"My job is not in the bullpen, not if I'm going to be successful," said Mercedes, who has 13 starts and 16 relief appearances this season. "I know I can pitch. If not here, somewhere else. The way I'm pitching, someone will have a spot for me."
Hill (5-8) was not depressed about his showing.
"Actually, I felt pretty good. The stuff was there, but I got behind guys and that did me in," said Hill, making his first start since Aug. 2. "I haven't been out there in three weeks, and it's a matter of getting comfortable."
Hill was signed to a minor league contract by the White Sox, whose pitching staff has two starters, Cal Eldred and Jon Garland, on the disabled list while another, James Baldwin, has a tired arm. Hill was added to the roster before yesterday's game.
"I want to prove to these guys I can do what they got me for," said Hill, bothered by an arthritic elbow and strained rib cage muscle.
Manager Jerry Manuel wouldn't commit to giving Hill another start, saying his status would be discussed as the team made a trip to Seattle for the start of a six-game West Coast trip.
Hill walked four yesterday and when he threw the ball over the plate, it got hit.
"He had good velocity on his pitches. It was just uncharacteristic for him to be erratic," Manuel said.
Charles Johnson, traded to the White Sox in the deal that included Fordyce, had a sacrifice fly in the eighth. It marked the first earned run allowed by rookie reliever Ryan Kohlmeier, who had made 10 appearances spanning 12 innings.
Hill walked Jeff Conine and Chris Richard in the second before giving up a two-run, two-out double to hitter Mark Lewis.
Brady Anderson walked in the third and scored on Melvin Mora's triple high off the left-field wall. Albert Belle singled to make it 4-0. and another single by Conine and walk to Richard loaded the bases and finished Hill. Fordyce greeted reliever Mark Buehrle with a two-run single.
The White Sox had second and third and no outs in the eighth but managed just a single run on Frank Thomas' sacrifice fly.
Notes Orioles third baseman Cal Ripken, on the disabled list, celebrated his 40th birthday… . It was Mercedes' second win over the White Sox in 10 days. He beat them with an eight-inning, one-run effort Aug. 14 at Camden Yards… . The Orioles returned home to host Tampa Bay in a four-game series that begins tonight… . White Sox second baseman Ray Durham left the game in the eighth with a tender hamstring.

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