Orioles 1, Rangers 0

March 19, 2001|By Roch Kubatko

Rating the players

****

Pat Hentgen: The first starter to go six innings, Hentgen blanks the Rangers on three hits despite lacking his usual command.

Jeff Conine: His ninth-inning hit, in a game that started 90 minutes late because of rain, prevents extra innings. Can we give five stars?

Calvin Maduro: Two scoreless innings keep Maduro on an impressive roll. He's in the bullpen mix, which is quite a jump for somebody who didn't sign until two days into camp.

Mike Bordick: Goes 3-for-3 and shows he can still get to balls up the middle.

**

Chad Paronto: Another guy in the bullpen mix, he allows two two-out hits in the ninth before bearing down and getting the last out.

*

Offense: The first day the starters play the bulk of the game -- only Bordick and catcher Brook Fordyce came out -- the Orioles don't score until the ninth.

The arms

Hentgen used all of his pitches, which he needed to do while struggling with his command. The result was six shutout innings. The first two batters reached in the first, with Chris Richard's error contributing to the jam, but he retired Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro and Ivan Rodriguez. This was no `B' team facing Hentgen, who also put two runners on in the second without allowing a run. Maduro added two solid innings before Paronto teetered on the edge.

The bats

Conine ripped a one-out single in the ninth to score pinch runner Eugene Kingsale. Mike Kinkade reached on an error, and Kingsale moved to second on a tapper to the mound by Richard. Bordick went 3-for-3, and Delino DeShields added two hits. Fordyce and Richard also singled, with Richard stealing second base.

The rest

The Orioles have their only scheduled day off today. There won't be any on-field activity, and the clubhouse will be closed. They resume playing tomorrow against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Vero Beach, with Sidney Ponson facing Darren Dreifort. ... Richard, who made his first start in center field on Saturday, returned to first base yesterday and robbed Ruben Sierra of a hit in the fourth inning with a diving stop along the line. Richard flipped to Hentgen for the out. ... Jerry Hairston had the day's defensive gem, diving up the middle to field a sharp bouncer from Palmeiro and firing to Richard from his knees.

The quote

"I can't say enough about what Brook [Fordyce] did. He called for some pitches that I might not have normally thrown, and it worked." -- Hentgen.

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