Game in review

March 15, 1998|By Roch Kubatko

Highlights and lowlights from the Orioles' 9-0 victory over the Montreal Expos yesterday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Ups and downs

UP: B. J. Surhoff. This guy doesn't need six weeks of spring training.

UP: Doug Drabek. Is bringing a sense of calm to the fifth starter's slot.

DOWN: Mark Valdes. Does a dead-on impression of Kent Mercker. More performances like this one from the Expos starter, and he'll soon be asking, "Would you like fries with that?"

UP: Eric Davis. Singles in a run, scores from second on an infield hit, walks and makes a diving catch in right field. Other than that...

The bats

The Orioles crammed all their scoring into the first four innings, then went hitless over the next four. Roberto Alomar got another hit from the right side to go with an earlier double batting left-handed. He also scored three times. Harold Baines drove in two runs in the first inning, and Rafael Palmeiro singled in two more in the third. Brady Anderson delivered the Orioles' final run in the fourth with a single to right.

The arms

They put a stranglehold on the Expos. Drabek barely was touched in five innings. Left-hander Rick Krivda threw two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and walking two. Terry Mathews (one inning), Arthur Rhodes (two-thirds) and Armando Benitez (one-third) mopped up. Both of the outs recorded by Rhodes came on strikeouts.

The rest

Valdes hit Davis in the first inning and Mike Bordick leading off the second. They both scored. Manager Ray Miller had Chris Hoiles catch Rhodes and Benitez in the ninth inning so they could get comfortable with each other. Hoiles has been removed from past games before the two relievers entered. Keeping an eye toward the regular season, Miller let Rhodes get the first two outs in the ninth, then brought in Benitez to close it out. He said he'll probably reverse that pattern in a couple of days and have Rhodes come in for Benitez. Ozzie Guillen replaced Palmeiro at first base in the fourth inning. Miller used Jeff Reboulet as a replacement for Cal Ripken at third base, rather than Ryan Minor, knowing he'll go to the veteran in that situation during the season while Minor is at Double-A Bowie or Triple-A Rochester. "I'm going to start trying to play our guys," Miller said.

Quote of the day

"If I get off to a great start, people will say, 'Aw, spring training's too long.' If I get off to a bad start, people will be saying I'm behind. One way or another, I'll be ready." -- Surhoff, after playing in his first game since Feb. 28.

Pub Date: 3/15/98

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