Game in review

April 02, 2000|By Joe Strauss

Highlights and lowlights from the Orioles' 8-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds in Chattanooga, Tenn.:

DOWN -- BellSouth Park: If Mayberry had a ballpark, this would be it. All the modern conveniences of a wallpapered outhouse.

UP -- George and Barb: The former first couple threw first-pitch strikes. Sammy Ellis was beaming.

DOWN -- Brady Anderson: He'll be in tomorrow's lineup but his left ankle remains clearly weakened by bizarre nerve injury.

UP -- Pat Rapp: Rapp is methodical, but if he can churn out five or six competent innings a pop no one will mind.

UP -- Mike Timlin: Capped unbelievable spring with ninth shutout appearance in 10 outings. Allowed one run and no walks in 12 innings. Camp MVP.

DOWN -- Syd Thrift: Roped into giving Orioles pre-game introductions. Don Pardo needn't worry.

The arms

Rapp made his sixth start of spring and cleared at least five innings for the second consecutive game. Rapp will do little to cut into the Orioles' average time of game but he showed himself able to escape trouble. Rapp was hit on the back of the left shoulder by Dmitri Young's one-hop smash in the second inning, walked the next two hitters he faced, then righted himself. Reds center fielder Ken Griffey reached Rapp for a single and double but the rest of the lineup reached him for only one hit.

The bats

The Orioles saw a left-handed starter for the 13th time this spring, winning for the fourth time. After leading 3-2 through six innings, the Orioles pounded nine hits and five runs in their last three swings. Greg Myers produced the costliest home run of camp, popping his left hamstring on a monstrous seventh-inning shot to center field. Albert Belle took an 0-for-3, dropping his spring average to .229 with two home runs and 10 RBIs. Ripken suffered the same fate and fell to .142 with five RBIs without a home run in 60 at-bats. Will Clark and Mike Bordick contributed multiple hits. Outfielder Wayne Kirby's parting gift was two RBIs.

The rest

Bordick and Delino DeShields were charged with errors, giving the Orioles 33 for spring. DeShields committed his fourth error on a debatable scorer's call. Bordick was handcuffed on an inconsistent hop for his third error. Anderson played without an air splint supporting his left ankle. The game was hosted by the Reds' Chattanooga affiliate but it was Ripken who spent more than 30 minutes signing autographs, while Griffey was unavailable to fans. Reds first baseman Sean Casey took a ground ball off his right thumb and left the game for X-rays, which revealed a deep bruise.

Quote of the day

"Three or four days ago, I felt like I was where I wanted to be, but the last couple of days I haven't been close. I'm ready to get started." -- Albert Belle, who went 0-for-3 to drop spring average to .229

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