Rangers 10, Orioles 2

Rating the players

March 11, 2001|By Roch Kubatko

***

Jay Gibbons: Enters the game tied with Alex Rodriguez and Bernie Williams for top spring average at .571, then goes 2-for-5 with a triple. Also makes sliding catch in left field. His average goes down, but not his stock.

Jose Leon: Takes a hard shot to the groin during batting practice, then beats out a double to right field. Talk about a gamer.

Brian Roberts: The "other" shortstop prospect in camp singles twice and homers. Also commits a fielding error.

*

Greg Myers: His 0-for-4 includes two strikeouts and a double play.

Josh Towers: Two shutout innings ruined by the third in which he was charged with allowing five runs.

Sidney Ponson: The worst outing by an Orioles starter this spring? Oh definitely.

The arms

Five days removed from his four-inning stint at the minor-league camp in Sarasota, Fla., Ponson had his share of troubles against the Rangers. Constantly falling behind hitters, he allowed four runs and five hits, with three walks, in three innings. A bad bullpen session carried into the game. Josh Towers replaced him and got through the fourth and fifth unscathed before the Rangers strung together six straight hits to open the sixth. Towers was charged with five runs and seven hits. On the plus side, he didn't walk anybody. Juan Figueroa replaced him and retired five of the six batters he faced. Greg Monroe was credited with an inside-the-park homer in the seventh on a fly ball that center fielder Eugene Kingsale lost in the sun.

The bats

Twelve hits produced only two runs, including a homer by Roberts in the fifth inning. Roberts also singled twice. Gibbons had a triple among his two hits. Jerry Hairston and Roberts opened the first inning with singles off Darren Oliver, but Gibbons grounded into a double play and Chris Richard flew out. The Orioles also wasted a Brook Fordyce single and Leon double in the second before Richard stroked a run-scoring double in the third. Richard also walked and stole a base. Wady Almonte singled after striking out twice. Ed Rogers singled in his first at-bat after taking over at shortstop, with Roberts shifting to second.

The rest

Jose Mercedes will start today against the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla. Jorge Julio, Willis Roberts and Mike Trombley are scheduled to follow him. ... Rusty Greer left after two innings with tightness in his left groin.

The quote

"I got away from my game plan a little bit. I got [angry] in the third inning. I'm not lying. But that's the kind of competitor I am. I know I can do better. It's only my second game against big-league hitters in spring training. We'll see what happens during the season." - pitcher Sidney Ponson.-

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