Game in review

March 22, 1998|By Roch Kubatko

Highlights and lowlights from the Orioles' 8-7 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals yesterday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.:

Ups and downs

UP: Rafael Palmeiro. Asks to remain in the game against a left-hander and hits the decisive two-run double in the seventh.

UP: B. J. Surhoff. Broke out the heavy lumber for his second game batting in the No. 2 slot.

UP: Cal Ripken. Contributes two hits and a marvelous defensive play at third.

DOWN: Doug Johns. Was dinked to death in the seventh, when a 6-5 lead went up in smoke.

UP: Bob Knight. Indiana basketball coach makes it through the game without a single tantrum. No need to nail down the folding chairs.

The bats

Surhoff had three of the Orioles' 10 hits, and Eric Davis went 2-for-4 to raise his spring average to .410. Palmeiro's blow off Cardinals reliever Lance Painter gave the club its sixth win in the last seven games. Ripken's two hits raised his average to .289. Jeff Reboulet and Mike Bordick each contributed a hit at the bottom of the order.

The arms

Mike Mussina was getting squeezed early and wound up allowing five runs and nine hits in six innings. Johns wasn't hit hard, but almost was saddled with the loss after giving up two runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning. Alan Mills saved him from further harm by getting the last out in the seventh, then escaped a jam in the eighth. Left-hander Arthur Rhodes walked one in the ninth but recorded his third save.

The rest

Ripken prevented a run in the third inning when he dived to his left to gather a sharp, two-out grounder from Tom Pagnozzi and threw him out. Davis hustled from first to third on Ripken's one-out single to left in the fourth and scored on Harold Baines' fly ball to right. The wind was blowing so hard that a foul pop from Palmeiro in the fourth that was headed for the seats drifted back toward the plate, and Pagnozzi made the catch while falling backward. In the sixth, a routine fly ball to right by Chris Hoiles carried to the fence, where Brian Jordan made the catch. Ozzie Guillen had to race into the clubhouse after pinch running in the eighth inning because he had the wrong glove. He didn't realize manager Ray Miller wanted him to play first.

Quote of the day

"It's always been that I'm my toughest critic. I'm also pretty realistic that what happened in the postseason last year isn't likely to happen over a long stretch, like an entire season or even an entire month. I expect to be able to pitch like that from time to time and be able to pitch the way I've pitched in the past, but to give up four runs every 30 innings all season? I think that's a little unrealistic.

-- Mussina.

Pub Date: 3/22/98

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