Dodgers 12, Orioles 7

March 21, 2001|By Roch Kubatko

Rating the players

****

Brook Fordyce: Slams a ball off the scoreboard in right field after a run-scoring single in his first at-bat. Also shows he won't be such an easy mark behind the plate this year. Runners beware.

Chris Richard: Just another typical afternoon for Richard, who looks poised for a breakthrough season.

***

Brian Roberts: Enters the game just in time to make a huge impact. If Ed Rogers is the next A-Rod, who's this guy?

*

Sidney Ponson: Doesn't come close to building on his last appearance, when he limited Montreal to one unearned run and two hits in five innings. More than a few bricks short of a decent outing.

Jeff Conine: Misses a bases-loaded liner headed straight for him at third base in the first inning. He also can't reach a grounder to his left in the fifth and boots another ball before making a high throw and being charged with an error. Also goes 0-for-3, including a first-inning strikeout with two runners on and one out.

Buddy Groom: Ka-boom.

The arms

Ponson was charged with seven runs and 10 hits in four innings. Four runs and five hits came in the first, when the Orioles didn't provide much help behind him and Ponson seemed to lose his concentration. Mark Grudzielanek and Gary Sheffield hit back-to-back home runs off him to open the fourth. Ponson also walked three and struck out four. B.J. Ryan threw two scoreless innings, though he allowed two hits and needed Fordyce to clean the bases. Jorge Julio, one of the more interesting developments of camp, barely broke a sweat in the seventh, but Buddy Groom was drenched in the eighth while allowing five runs and six hits after entering with the score tied. He also had a throwing error. Everything was up, and he got hammered.

The bats

The Orioles had 11 hits, including three from Richard, who contributed two run-scoring singles and an RBI double. Fordyce drove in two runs, one of them coming on his first spring homer. Roberts, Brady Anderson and Delino DeShields each had two hits, with Roberts doing his damage over the last three innings.

The rest

Jason Johnson, who seems assured of being in the rotation when the Orioles head north, will start today against the Montreal Expos at Fort Lauderdale Stadium. Alan Mills and Mike Trombley also are scheduled to pitch, with Mills making his first appearance of the spring. ... Jose Mercedes and Ryan Kohlmeier will pitch in a Triple-A game at the Orioles' minor league complex in Sarasota.

The quote

"I think we'd be pushing it, but we're not ready to close the door on that yet." -- Mike Hargrove, on Alan Mills being ready for Opening Day.

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