Highlights and lowlights from the Orioles' 12-9 loss to the Boston Red Sox yesterday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Ups and downs
UP: Brady Anderson. Doesn't play in two straight games, then raps a double off the left-field wall on the first pitch thrown to
him. And still one of the best quotes in baseball.
UP: Roberto Alomar. Unable to lay down a bunt, he lines an RBI single to center in his first game batting right-handed since last May. Added an RBI single in the seventh off another left-handed pitcher. The consummate professional hitter.
DOWN: Home plate. It moved around too much to suit Scott Kamieniecki, Sidney Ponson and Rick Krivda.
UP: Joe Carter. Launched his second home run this spring, tying Eric Davis for the club lead.
DOWN: Chris Hoiles. A human target last season for errant pitches, foul tips, backswings and hard-charging base runners, he already has added splintered bats to the list. Somebody take the bull's-eye off.
The Orioles are prone to offensive outbursts and prolonged silences. After Carter's homer leading off the second, they didn't get another hit until the seventh, when they scored five times on five hits and an error. The top of the order was productive. Ryan Minor can't help but get noticed, this time producing an RBI triple in his only at-bat. Catcher Melvin Rosario collected his fourth hit in seven spring at-bats, a positive sign for a player known more for his work behind the plate. Lenny Webster had a pinch-hit RBI single, and Jesus Taravez began the seventh-inning rally with a single and stolen base.
Baseball is no place for a walkathon. Kamieniecki and Ponson combined for seven walks, including four straight with the bases loaded in the third inning. Krivda walked three in 1 2/3 innings, to go with four hits and his first three runs of the spring. Encouragement came in the form of Terry Mathews, who didn't allow a run, hit or walk in 1 1/3 innings. Left-hander Arthur Rhodes pitched the last two innings and gave up four hits and two runs, striking out three. The Red Sox had 13 hits, as yet another team reached double digits on the Orioles.
The Orioles didn't commit an error. Former Orioles farmhand B. J. Waszgis doubled leading off the eighth. The Red Sox used seven pitchers, with starter Butch Henry getting the win after allowing three runs in three innings. John Wasdin pitched a perfect fourth and fifth innings. Boston shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, last season's Rookie of the Year, had two doubles and a triple, scored twice and knocked in two runs. That's no way to start a sophomore jinx.
Quote of the day
"He was scared and so were we. His shirt was torn and there were fragments sticking out. We didn't know whether it had impaled him or not. Pretty scary when you see a sharp end hit a guy that close." -- manager Ray Miller on Hoiles, after catcher got struck by splintered bat.