Orioles 5, Mets 4

March 17, 2001

Rating the players

****

Brady Anderson: Two hits. Home run. Stolen base. When Brady Anderson is right, he's still one of the best all-around leadoff men in the game.

Jason Johnson: Five innings. One bad pitch. It looks like this guy's back in the rotation.

***

Mike Kinkade: Another multi-hit game for the multi-talented utility candidate. Doubled and singled out of DH hole to embellish already great spring stats.

**

Mike Trombley: It wasn't art, but one-run ninth inning was good enough for first save of spring. Orioles need closure. Will take it anywhere they can get it.

*

Mets outfield: Two misplays led to Orioles runs in pivotal sixth inning, though friendly scoring turned one into a free drop.

The arms

Johnson cruised through the first three innings before Mets outfielder Jay Payton tied the game with a two-run homer in the fourth. Johnson finished five innings, giving up three hits and two earned runs on the way to his third spring victory. If you're keeping score at home, that's two more than he had during the regular season last year (1-10), but manager Mike Hargrove isn't quite ready to commit to him as the No. 4 starter. Relievers Chad Paronto and Calvin Maduro each pitched a scoreless inning, but the Mets scored single runs off setup man B.J. Ryan in the eighth and veteran Trombley in the ninth.

The bats

Kinkade raised his spring average to .375 with his 2-for-4 performance yesterday and continues to carve out a niche for himself at the club's corner utility role. Anderson launched his first home run of the spring, and shortstop Mike Bordick contributed two hits and an RBI as the Orioles continue to hit well as a team. The 12-hit performance raised the team batting average to .290.

The rest

The Orioles will have three starting pitchers going today. Right-hander Willis Roberts will start against the St. Louis Cardinals at Fort Lauderdale; Jay Spurgeon will go against the Mets in a split-squad game at Port St. Lucie and veteran left-hander Chuck McElroy is scheduled to pitch five innings in a Triple-A game against the Texas Rangers' Oklahoma City farm team.

The quote

"Usually, you wait for somebody to take a step back and make the decision for you. So far, that hasn't happened." - pitching coach Mark Wiley, on the competition for the final two spots in the Orioles' bullpen.- Compiled by Peter Schmuck

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