Orioles 5, Twins 4

Rating the players

March 04, 2001|By Roch Kubatko

****

Leslie Brea: Whatever his age, he was bringing it yesterday.

***

Jay Gibbons: Two more hits yesterday makes him 3-for-3 in exhibition play. He also steals a base, but a fielding error prevents a four-star rating.

Jose Mercedes: Only mistake pitch in three innings comes on the only curveball he throws, which Jason Maxwell belted over the left-center field fence.

Jeff Conine: Strokes a single and double in three at-bats. Pulls the ball his first time up and goes the other way the next.

**

Delino DeShields: Had been 0-for-3 and failed to drive in a runner from third with less than two outs before blooping an opposite-field single in the ninth that ties the game. He scores the winning run on a wild pitch.

John Parrish: Gives up two runs in the fifth inning before settling down in the sixth.

The arms

Mercedes used all his pitches while limiting the Twins to two hits over three innings. Chad Allen doubled in the first inning, and Maxwell went deep in the third. Mercedes said he felt good and could have gone five or six. Parrish allowed two runs and four hits in two innings. Brea, trying to make the club as a reliever, struck out four in two hitless innings. Buddy Groom allowed the tie-breaking run in the eighth, though he struck out two. Mike Trombley also had two strikeouts while picking up the win with a routine ninth.

The bats

The Orioles collected 12 hits, including two each by Gibbons and Conine. The rest came from DeShields, Brady Anderson, Carlos Casimiro, Melvin Mora, Chris Richard, Mike Kinkade, Greg Myers and Jerry Hairston. Richard and Mora drove in runs with singles. Casimiro began the ninth-inning rally with a single down the right-field line. He later scored with two outs on DeShields' hit. The Orioles led 2-0 in the second on singles by Conine, Richard and Kinkade, and a misplayed pop up.

The rest

The Orioles committed three errors, by Mora, Gibbons and Ivanon Coffie. ... Steve Sisco began a defensive gem in the eighth inning by backhanding a grounder up the middle by Jay Canizaro. With his momentum carrying him away from first, he instinctively flipped the ball to shortstop Brian Roberts, whose strong throw nailed Canizaro. ... Anderson made two nice plays in left field in the second inning, rushing in to call off shortstop Mike Bordick on a shallow fly, and running down a drive to the warning track in left-center field. ... Cal Ripken's son, Ryan, served as one of the bat boys.

The quote

"Not being able to play the first game of the spring is a concern. I'm more concerned now than I was 30 minutes ago and more concerned than I was a day ago. But as far as drawing a conclusion or making the decision today that Albert can't play, I can't do that yet." -- manager Mike Hargrove.

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