Game in review

March 13, 2000|By Joe Strauss

Highlights and lowlights from the Orioles' 9-8 victory over the New York Mets in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

UP - Delino DeShields: No, his first homer since Aug. 19 doesn't "count," but the Texas Rangers were on hand to take notice of the monster shot.

UP - Ryan Minor: Another double amplified his spring training statement.

EVEN - "The Next Mo Vaughn": Calvin Pickering slashed a double during the game-turning seventh but botched a toss.

UP - Wayne Kirby: Yanked a game-tying homer off Jesse Orosco in the seventh.

DOWN - Gabe Molina: Reliever picked up a vulture win to go with 14.72 ERA.

DOWN - Jesse Orosco: The ancient left-hander was punished by his old 'mates. March has never been his favorite month.

UP - Jesus Garcia: Utility infielder leads club with 7 RBIs.

UP - Rich Amaral: Two hits, a steal and nine innings in left field.

The bats

The Orioles were involved in a second consecutive 29-hit game, contributing 14 themselves. Eugene Kingsale, Derrick May and Amaral added two apiece and second baseman DeShields had his first home run since August, a towering shot off starter Rick Reed that cleared the right-field bleachers. Minor pulled a double down the third base line, his team-high fourth extra-base hit of spring. The Orioles rallied from deficits of 4-0 and 7-6 with five regulars in the lineup. Harold Baines was robbed by second baseman Kurt Abbott.

The arms

Jason Johnson's struggles deepened as he consistently struggled to get ahead of hitters and groped for a breaking pitch. He needed 71 pitches to clear three innings, the sort of high-pitch madness that irritates managers and pitching coaches. Jose Mercedes furthered his candidacy for a roster spot with three shutout innings. Mercedes has yet to walk a hitter in eight innings. Molina has made three appearances. How many more he receives may be decided by tomorrow. He allowed five hitters to reach in a three-run seventh inning.

The rest

The game was delayed 22 minutes by rain. Shortly before, a fan behind the first base dugout ranted at right fielder Albert Belle. Belle and numerous teammates shouted down the blowhard. Back from Saturday's Florida Derby, executive vice president John Angelos and chairman's representative Louis Angelos took in the final innings from the first base well. The Orioles bumped their team batting average to .304 and are averaging 6.7 runs. Matt Riley is scheduled to make his spring debut today; Pat Rapp will make his second appearance. Mike Bordick boosted his team-high average to .471.

Quote of the day

"Jason threw 71 pitches in three innings. That's too many. He pitched behind a lot and got himself in trouble. Jason needs to get outs earlier in counts." -- Manager Mike Hargrove on Johnson's difficult three-inning start, in which he gave up seven hits, two walks and four earned runs.

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