Orioles 12, Twins 5

Rating the players

March 16, 2001

****

Mike Kinkade: Being out of options no longer is the main reason he's going to make the club. Who's had a better spring?

***

Chris Richard: Was batting .379 before going 3-for-4.

Brian Roberts: Who imagined this guy as an Opening Day possibility? Put down your hands.

Willie Harris: A natural second baseman, the minor-leaguer makes a leaping catch at the center field fence while on the dead run to end the fifth inning, and throws out a runner at second to end the sixth. File away that name for future reference.

*

Eugene Kingsale: Few players could have two hits, a run scored and an RBI by the second inning and still get one star. But Kingsale misplayed a fly ball into a single, failed to make a clean pickup of another single with a chance to throw out a runner at the plate, and was caught in a rundown after breaking too soon on an attempted steal.

Base running: Kingsale, Mike Bordick, Richard and Harris were thrown out on the bases. Bordick and Richard were caught between third and home. It never looked this bad during drills.

The arms

Mercedes turned in an uneven start yesterday, allowing four runs and six hits in five innings. He didn't issue a walk and retired the last eight batters. The Twins scored three in the second on three singles and a double. They added another run in the third on a double and single before going silent. Josh Towers allowed a bases-empty homer to Brian Buchanan in the sixth before blanking the Twins over the last three innings. He gave up six hits, walked one and struck out one.

The bats

Kinkade drilled a three-run homer in the first and a two-run shot in the eighth, becoming the second Oriole to go deep twice in the same game. (David Segui homered from both sides of the plate earlier this spring). The Orioles had 18 hits, including three each from Richard and Delino DeShields. Kingsale, Jeff Conine and Greg Myers (two RBIs) each had two hits. Kinkade and Roberts drove in a combined eight runs.

The rest

Jason Johnson will start today against the New York Mets in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He'll be followed by B.J. Ryan, Chad Paronto, Calvin Maduro and Mike Trombley. Rick Reed will start for the Mets. ... The Orioles will play split-squad games tomorrow, with one group traveling to Port St. Lucie to face the Mets and another staying home to face the St. Louis Cardinals. Guess which one will be managed by Mike Hargrove?

The quote

"I think it was OK. We won. But I didn't feel comfortable. I was fighting my body. We had a long first inning and I went out there kind of cold." - Mercedes, critiquing his start.-- Compiled by Roch Kubatko

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