Raineses' father-son day shines

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Expo, Oriole go 3-for-5 in first big-league meeting

Baseball

March 07, 2001|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Batting first for the Montreal Expos: Tim Raines. Batting first for the Orioles: Tim Raines Jr.

Just as father and son envisioned it.

Playing in the same game for the first time, the elder Raines served as Montreal's designated hitter while Raines Jr. patrolled center field in the Orioles' 7-6 victory at Fort Lauderdale Stadium. Raines Sr. went 2-for-3 with an RBI single, which his son charged to field. Raines Jr. went 1-for-2 with an RBI single before being replaced in the fourth inning.

Both players grounded out in their first at-bats before Raines Sr., 41, became the first family member to reach base.

"I told him before the game to not be nervous," Raines Sr. said. "I've been here many times and I was hoping he'd be relaxed and prove that he belongs here. I feel like he held his own today.

"This meant a lot to both of us. We've been trying to do this the past few years. It's a proud moment for me, and I'm sure for him, as well. Hopefully this is the first step for him getting to the major leagues and us doing it for real."

The Orioles allowed Raines Jr., 21, a sixth-round pick in 1998 who spent last season at Single-A Frederick, to stay behind while the other players in the early minor-league camp headed to the Sarasota, Fla., complex.

His single came on a high bouncer that cleared the shortstop's head and rolled into shallow left field.

"This is as good as it gets," he said. "This is what you live for. My dad has been trying to do this ever since I started playing professional baseball. It almost feels like a dream."

Raines Sr. hasn't played since 1999 with the Oakland Athletics. He's trying to make the Expos as a nonroster invitee.

"He's been the one pushing for this," said Raines Jr. "He was like, `Yeah, I'm trying to play another season, so we've got to get this thing down. We've got to play with each other.' He really started talking about it the last year or two."

Mills on comeback trail

Alan Mills has pitched batting practice twice in a four-day stretch, and is scheduled to do it again today while continuing a pattern of throwing on alternating days that illustrates his progress from September shoulder surgery.

"The second BP felt a lot better than the first," said Mills, who took pride in breaking a bat. "Mechanically, I was a lot more sound than the first time through. I feel good. It's just a matter of regaining my arm strength. You can't force that to happen. It just happens."

Mills won't predict whether he'll be ready by Opening Day. Manager Mike Hargrove rated the reliever's chances as "50-50."

"We'll have a more definite idea in the next week to 10 days, probably. I think he still has a chance," Hargrove said. "He threw the ball well and we extended him pretty good."

Ripken on the Web

Ripken Baseball, a subsidiary of Tufton Sports and Management, has redesigned and re-launched its Web site, www.ripkenbaseball.com.

The Web site has been updated to include interactive components that will be online immediately. It also will include baseball tips from Cal Ripken and his brother Bill, news and updates from the construction site of the Aberdeen Project, youth and adult baseball camp information, Ripken's ongoing community projects, and information on the International Cal Ripken World Series.

The enhanced site also will include message boards, live chats and occasional diary entries from Ripken on his 21st major-league season.

Quick hits

The number: 2 -- Times that Jay Gibbons was robbed of a hit before blooping a two-run single into center field. He lined to short and hit a scorcher to the right side that first baseman Fernando Seguignol turned into an out with a diving stop. Gibbons also reached on an error before delivering the seventh-inning hit that gave the Orioles a brief 6-5 lead.

Injury update: Pitcher Luis Rivera will have an MRI taken on his right shoulder today in Birmingham, Ala. An earlier MRI in Fort Lauderdale revealed a torn labrum, but Rivera didn't bring the results with him to Birmingham. Dr. James Andrews is expected to perform surgery on Rivera, forcing the Orioles' prospect to miss the 2001 season.

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