Game in review

March 05, 1998|By Peter Schmuck

Highlights and lowlights from the Orioles' 6-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla.:

Ups and downs

Down: Perfect record. The Orioles' hopes of going undefeated this year were dashed when they lost for the first time this spring.

Up: Jesus Tavarez. Continues to make a solid early impression on the coaching staff. Fought off a couple of two-strike pitches before driving in two runs with a first-inning single, then homered to right in the fifth and had an infield single in the eighth. He's batting .417.

Down: Ozzie Guillen. Made first start at second base and looked disoriented when Cardinals shortstop Royce Clayton led off the first with a soft liner through the right side of the infield. Ball appeared catchable, but Guillen hesitated and allowed it to drop a few feet away for a base hit.

Sideways: Doug Drabek. The former NL pitcher singled in his first at-bat, but gave up four runs in his first Orioles start.

The bats

The Orioles had a chance to put the hammer down on former teammate Kent Mercker in the early innings, but did not build much on a two-run first. Tavarez provided most of the offensive production. Rafael Palmeiro reached base three times in four plate appearances, with a double and two walks.

The arms

Drabek pitched three innings and gave up four runs on seven hits, including a two-run homer, but seemed satisfied with his first outing. Rocky Coppinger followed him to the mound and retired six straight. Terry Mathews surrendered a run over two innings in his second relief outing and Arthur Rhodes gave up a run on two hits in the eighth.

The rest

The Cardinals have been on a major offensive roll this spring, scoring 40 runs in their first five games. For those who are not mathematically inclined, that's eight runs per game. Orioles pitchers did hold slugger Mark McGwire to just an infield hit. He came into the game batting .750 with a 2.250 slugging percentage. Shortstop Mike Bordick made a diving play to rob McGwire of a hit in the fifth inning.

Quote of the day

"[Brady Anderson] told me from every outing, take something positive. I don't want any setbacks. I had enough setbacks last year." -- Coppinger.

Pub Date: 3/05/98

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