Alexander tries slugger's role for a day 2-run HR in 8th tops Expos

Alomar jogs on sore ankle

March 09, 1997|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- When Manny Alexander returned to the Orioles dugout in the eighth inning yesterday, he received some good-natured ribbing from his teammates.

"They were making fun of me. I'm no power hitter," Alexander said.

He played one yesterday, however, flipping his bat and going into a home run trot after his two-run shot into the netting above the left-field fence, which gave the Orioles an 8-7 victory over the Montreal Expos at Fort Lauderdale Stadium.

"I was looking for a fastball inside. I tried to make good contact, to hit the ball hard somewhere," he said. "He threw me the pitch I was looking for and I hit it pretty good."

Alomar tests ankle on jog

Roberto Alomar said his sprained left ankle felt "pretty good" after working out yesterday. Alomar and head trainer Richie Bancells walked along the warning track, from the right-field foul pole to center field, then jogged lightly to the left-field pole. They repeated the routine on the two auxiliary fields, then returned to the main field and went from the left foul pole to the right.

Alomar tested the ankle some more by playing catch with Fred Tyler, the club's visiting clubhouse manager at Camden Yards, and hitting off a tee.

"He did well as a beginning," Bancells said. "The first couple of jogs, he wasn't sure about himself. It felt uncomfortable, but that's because it was a foreign thing for him to do. After that, he was fine."

Alomar injured the ankle when he slipped on some wet steps last month at his home in Puerto Rico, then aggravated it while playing in a charity basketball game.

Gruber 'still pretty sore'

Infielder Kelly Gruber did some jogging and swung the bat to test the right hamstring he strained in Thursday's B game.

"I was favoring it a little. It's still pretty sore, but it felt a lot better than [Friday]," said Gruber, who is 0-for-13 in exhibition games. "I just want to get something going and continue the building process. I'm at the point where I felt like I was swinging a little harder. It was frustrating, but I've come a long way. It almost feels like, if we were in the season, I'd get this sucker taped [and play], but I've got to be real careful on it because they become nagging."

Gruber hasn't played since 1993 and had surgery two years ago for a herniated disk in his neck.

Around the horn

Rafael Palmeiro's three RBIs yesterday equaled his total for the entire spring. Jeff Reboulet went 2-for-4 and raised his average to .350. Nerio Rodriguez allowed one hit in three shutout innings. Shortstop Mike Bordick made his first Orioles error in the second inning when he threw wide of second trying to force Chris Widger. Former Oriole Rick Schu singled in a run the same inning, but was thrown out at second by Cal Ripken, who had cut off the throw from left fielder B. J. Surhoff. The next inning, Ripken made a diving stop to his left of a bouncer by former Oriole David Segui and threw out Rondell White at second. Brady Anderson got bit on the ankle Friday by a friend's dog and received a tetanus shot. Yesterday, he singled, scored twice, had an RBI and stole a base.

Pub Date: 3/09/97

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