Game in review

March 28, 2000|By Peter Schmuck

Highlights and lowlights from the Orioles' 6-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers, Fla.:

DOWN - Jason Johnson: The No. 3 starter job was his to lose, and he may have lost it yesterday.

UP - Harold Baines: He went 3-for-4 to raise his spring batting average to .343. The guy could pull a single through the right side blindfolded.

UP - Tim Worrell: Didn't make an appearance yesterday, but was first player to officially make the 25-man roster when the club purchased his contract.

UP - Charles Johnson: Two more hits yesterday to improve his batting average to .333. Not a bad catcher, either.

UP - Rich Amaral: Stole his fifth base yesterday and continues to lead the club in that department.

DOWN - The SLO-rioles: Hey, shouldn't an everyday player lead the club in stolen bases?

The bats

The Orioles scattered nine hits yesterday, but have scored two runs or fewer in five of their last seven games. They managed only a run on six hits in six innings against Twins starter Joe Mays, who isn't exactly Cy Young, but it was better than their one-hit performance against Mike Hampton and their no-hit performance against Orel Hershiser last week.

The arms

The latest rocky outing by Jason Johnson has cast doubt on his roster status. He once was considered a near lock to make the rotation. Now, he'll have to turn in a convincing performance in his last spring outing to avoid a trip to Triple-A Rochester. He allowed 14 base runners in four innings and is averaging 2.4 base runners per inning for the spring. Reliever Al Reyes pitched two decent innings, his only mistake a home run pitch to Matt Lawton. Bullpen role players Chuck McElroy and Buddy Groom each pitched a scoreless inning.

The rest

Injured center fielder Brady Anderson is expected to re-enter the exhibition lineup today. He hasn't played in a Grapefruit League game since March 10, but the club still hopes he can be ready on Opening Day. Second baseman Jerry Hairston didn't make things easier on Johnson yesterday. His error in the first inning led to the first Twins run. Hairston went 1-for-5, but remains the club's leading hitter this spring with a .366 average.

Quote of the day

"Jason would be the first to tell you that he hasn't had a good spring. He's made six appearances and he's 0-for-6. He needs to have a good outing the next time out." -- manager Mike Hargrove, on Jason Johnson's tenuous roster position.

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