Orioles 4, Cardinals 2

March 23, 2001|By Roch Kubatko

Rating the players

****

Jeff Conine: Goes deep and drives in three runs. Also scores style points while getting the game's final out defensively on a chopper to third.

***

Chuck McElroy: More base runners than he would like, but the bottom line looks awfully good. Is it too late, however, to make the rotation?

Brady Anderson: His average is rising faster than warm bread dough.

Darnell McDonald: The former first-round pick makes a lunging catch in center field and pokes a double to left in a reserve role.

Calvin Maduro: Remains sharp while pitching in consecutive games. A big test for someone coming off an elbow injury.

*

Mike Kinkade: Hits into his third double play in two games while going 0-for-4. He's swinging at too many bad pitches as if trying to make a big push at the end that isn't necessary.

The arms

McElroy issued a walk to begin the game, gave up a single in the second and third, walked another batter in the fourth and gave up two singles and a walk in the fifth. But only one run scored, in his final inning, to give McElroy his best outing of the spring. He struck out three, including J.D. Drew and Mark McGwire looking to end the first. Maduro added two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out McGwire. B.J. Ryan gave up a leadoff single in the eighth, but nothing else, before the Cardinals scored once in the ninth off Jorge Julio, who gave up three hits and struck out two.

The bats

Of the 11 hits by the Orioles, who were playing with a split squad, six went for extra bases. Conine hit his first home run, a two-run shot in the fifth after Anderson had singled in a run. He also had a sacrifice fly after Anderson led off the game with a double. Chris Richard remained on a tear with a single and double. McDonald, Mike Bordick and Greg Myers also doubled, and Melvin Mora had a single in three at-bats. Batting ninth, Jerry Hairston singled twice, stole a base and hustled to third on a throwing error that led to another run.

The rest

Pat Hentgen will start today's game against the St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla. Chad Paronto, B.J. Ryan and Buddy Groom also are scheduled, though Groom is questionable with back spasms. Darryl Kile will start for the Cardinals. ... A simple adjustment made McElroy more effective. He had been standing too far to the third-base side of the mound before being told to move toward the middle. ... Richard raised his average to .385 by going 2-for-4. Kinkade's average dropped to .286.

The quote

"What did the Russian judge give me?" - Conine, who bobbled a chopper to third before making the throw and falling down with the tying runs on base and two outs in the ninth.

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