Game in review

March 08, 2000|By Joe Strauss

Highlights and lowlights from the Orioles' 5-4 loss to the New York Mets in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

DOWN -- Calvin Maduro: Two-out woes in the second inning prevented fifth-starter contender from second straight unblemished appearance.

DOWN -- Get-tough front office: Sidney Ponson gets renewed for $400,000. Syd Thrift's a tough guy with a hammer.

UP -- Javier de la Hoya: No relation to Oscar, he gave the Orioles a fighting chance in relief.

UP -- Official scoring: Thank heavens these numbers don't really count.

DOWN -- Jerry Hairston: Two more hits tie him with Delino DeShields (3) in spirited 2B competition.

DOWN -- The Thrill: Will Clark didn't escape the infield in three at-bats and was bitten by a bad hop. The swing will be there.

EVEN -- Bullpen: It looked good until B.J. Ryan gave up two runs in the ninth. If only it looks this good in April.

The bats

The Orioles faced Mets ace Mike Hampton for four innings, reaching him for two first-inning runs thanks to some defensive misadventures. Albert Belle scorched a one-hopper through the legs of third baseman Robin Ventura. Jerry Hairston scored the Orioles' first run after producing the first of two hits. Shortstop Jesus Garcia was credited with an RBI on a fifth-inning single off Pat Mahomes. The Orioles have struck out only 16 times in five games.

The arms

Calvin Maduro experienced turbulence with two outs in the second inning when three consecutive hits, including a bases-empty home run by right fielder Joe Nunnally, cost him a 2-0 lead. Javier de le Hoya made an unscheduled appearance behind Maduro and allowed only one base runner. The Mets started their projected Opening Day lineup but produced only five base runners before clearing their bench in the seventh inning. The bullpen had worked 11 straight scoreless innings before Al Reyes was nicked in the eighth.

The rest

Leadoff hitter Brady Anderson avoided injury when he collided with Mets first baseman Todd Zeile in the first inning. Hampton's throw pulled Zeile into the baseline, forcing the tangle. The Mets were charged with four errors but forgiven at least one other. Not only are Orioles fans overrun by Yankees invaders at Camden Yards, they are also outnumbered by Mets fans at Fort Lauderdale Stadium. Leading 4-3 in last night's eighth, the Orioles were serenaded by "Let's Go, Mets." Enough.

Quote of the day

"Ryan Minor will play in the minor leagues -- for this team. He will play in the major leagues for 10 years, at least. He has that kind of ability." -- Vice president of player development Syd Thrift before last night's exhibition against the New York Mets.

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