* ANEMIA: Limited to five hits by Boston’s Roger Clemens on Tuesday night and two by Danny Darwin on Wednesday night, the Baltimore Orioles experienced consecutive shutouts for the first time since May 21-22 of 1983.

The 2-0 loss to Darwin--3-0 in May after an 0-4 April--was another tough setback for Fernando Valenzuela, who went 8 1/3 innings, scattering seven hits.

The Orioles have scored only nine runs in losing all of Valenzuela’s five starts. He is 0-3 this year, 0-6 in his last 10 big league starts and has not won since September of 1990. Is there solace in pitching well?


“I’m getting to the point where I’d prefer to pitch bad and win,” Valenzuela said.

* CAN’T STEAL FIRST: Eric Davis is on a day-to-day basis with the Dodgers and needs to go to a league with a designated runner. Davis had stolen 26 consecutive bases in a disjointed span of his last 91 games through Thursday.

The record for not being caught is believed to be held by former Baltimore catcher Gus Triandos, who went 1,206 games. Triandos was one for one in steal attempts during that span.

* MIDDLE MEN: Jose Offerman may never win over all of his critics, but three middle infielders who were unable to convince the Dodgers that they could play regularly are doing quite nicely.

The Philadelphia Phillies are 17-4 in games Mariano Duncan has started at shortstop or second base, Jose Vizcaino is batting .384 with the Chicago Cubs and Eric Young has 15 steals, 13 RBIs and a .278 average as the Colorado Rockies’ second baseman.

What do the Dodgers have to show for the loss of those three? Only Lenny Harris, acquired in the four-player deal that sent Duncan to the Cincinnati Reds.

* CANADIAN SUNSET: The Montreal Expos were thought to have some of baseball’s deepest young pitching talent, but only veterans Ken Hill and Dennis Martinez are supplying any consistency as the Expos struggle to keep the Philadelphia Phillies in view.


The Nos. 3-4-5 starters--Chris Nabholz, Kent Bottenfeld and Jimmy Jones--had a combined earned-run average of 5.93 through Friday, with Nabholz, 11-12 last year, a disappointing 2-3 and 6.16.

“You’d like to give your No. 3 as many chances as you can, but I can’t tell you how many he has left,” Manager Felipe Alou said of Nabholz.

The Expos, still believing that the Phillies will come back to the pack in the National League East, are rumored ready to trade one of their prize prospects, outfielder Rondell White, for a proven pitcher.

* TURNAROUND: The Phillies, 21-31 in games decided by one run last year, are 10-1 in that category and 6-0 in extra innings. No team that has led a division by 4 1/2 games or more on May 1, as the Phillies did, has gone on to lose that lead.

* TONIC: There is no better elixir for a slumping offense than the rarefied air of Denver’s Mile High Stadium and the Rockies’ pitching staff. The Atlanta Braves, batting .216, hit .327 with 20 extra-base hits during a four-game sweep in Denver that ended Sunday.

Said Atlanta catcher Greg Olson, “None of the hitters wanted to leave, but the pitchers had their bags packed in the fourth inning.”