Game in review

March 05, 2000|By Roch Kubatko

Highlights and lowlights from the Orioles' 10-8 loss to the Florida Marlins in Viera, Fla.

DOWN -- Gabe Molina: He'd like to be a closer someday. This isn't the way to go about it.

DOWN -- Sidney Ponson: The less said, the better.

UP -- B. J. Surhoff: A two-run homer and single. In other words, nothing unusual.

EVEN -- Greg Myers: Tries to make up for throwing error with two hits.

UP -- Jerry Hairston: If he loses the second base competition, he'll go down fighting.

UP -- Billy Ashley: The ball he hit should be landing any day now.

The bats

The Orioles had 11 hits, including two each by Surhoff and Myers. Brady Anderson had an RBI double in the fourth inning. Hairston belted a two-run homer in the seventh. Ashley and Calvin Pickering hit back-to-back homers in the eighth to give the Orioles an 8-7 lead. Ashley's blast cleared a row of trees well beyond the left-field fence, an estimated 445 feet. Pickering's wasn't cheap, either. Ryan Minor followed with a sharp single. Albert Belle singled, stole a base and had a bases-loaded walk.

The arms

Jason Johnson threw 55 pitches in three innings. He allowed two runs, both in the second inning, when he began working too slowly, and four hits. He also walked two. Three of the five runs off Ponson were earned. He also went three innings, allowing five hits and striking out three. Mike Lowell hit a wind-blown two-run homer off him in the fifth to break a 4-4 tie. Jose Mercedes and Chuck McElroy (two strikeouts) each tossed a scoreless inning, but Molina couldn't protect an 8-7 lead in the ninth. He gave up a three-run, two-out homer to Nate Rolison.

The rest

Cal Ripken, Charles Johnson and Delino DeShields stayed behind in Sarasota. Conine, making his first spring start at third base, committed a throwing error on the only ball hit to him. Belle's stolen base originally was ruled a fielder's choice before correctly being changed after some strong lobbying by public relations director Bill Stetka, a former Orioles official scorer. Minor-league infielder Carlos Casimiro was responsible for the Orioles' third error. Jesse Garcia made some strong throws at shortstop, further dispelling the myth that he doesn't have enough arm to play the position.

Quote of the day

"That will not be uttered. No one here better even mention it." -- Conine, joking with reporters who suggested he also could serve as emergency catcher.

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