Game in review

March 25, 2000|By Roch Kubatko

Highlights and lowlights from the Orioles' 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla.

DOWN - The offense: Its likeness should appear on the back of a milk carton.

EVEN - Jesus Garcia: Had an RBI single and a club-leading fifth error.

DOWN - Charles Johnson: Stranded more men than the skipper of the S.S. Minnow.

UP - Albert Belle: Probably his best game in right field this spring.

DOWN - B. J. Surhoff: Hitless in five at-bats.

DOWN - UP: Reunions: Moose vs. McGwire another mismatch.

EVEN - Jeff Conine: Can focus on two doubles or comedic error at first base.

The bats

Missing in action again. The club has scored two runs in its past 29 innings since Willie Morales belted a game-tying, three-run homer against the Cardinals on Tuesday. The Orioles somehow produced only one run out of 10 hits yesterday. Conine doubled twice, and Garcia drove in the lone run in the second inning. Morales, Belle, Delino DeShields, Rich Amaral, Cal Ripken, Howie Clark and Ryan Minor also had hits. DeShields, batting leadoff, also walked twice.

The arms

Mike Mussina didn't have his best command in the first inning, when he threw 38 pitches, but he held the Cardinals to two runs and four hits over five innings. He also struck out five. Mike Timlin allowed an infield hit in the scoreless sixth. Mike Trombley gave up two runs in the seventh, but only one was earned because of a throwing error by Garcia. He also gave up three hits. Al Reyes turned in a scoreless inning for the second straight game, perhaps breathing some life into his chances of making the team.

The rest

The Orioles stranded 13 runners. Conine played in the field for the first time since March 8 because of tendinitis in his right rotator cuff. Belle made a sliding catch in right field to rob Mark McGwire in the third. McGwire was 0-for-2 against Mussina, their first meeting since Mussina posted a strikeout in last year's All-Star Game.

Quote of the day

"Reyes had a good outing today. He needed that. He was on the verge of pitching his way right to Triple-A. That still could happen, but his last two outings have been good." -- manager Mike Hargrove.

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