Orioles 7, Expos 1

March 26, 2001|By Roch Kubatko

Rating the players

****

Greg Myers: He'll make one heck of a backup catcher for some team.

Sidney Ponson: The good Sidney shows up. And he's very good.

Jerry Hairston: Enters the game at second base in the seventh inning and makes two diving stops to record outs on the first two balls hit to him - one to his right and the other to his left.

Eugene Kingsale: Four hits raise his average to .391. But can he get through one game without a defensive gaffe?

***

Mike Bordick: It takes awhile, but Bordick finally gets that first spring home run.

**

Cal Ripken: Though hitless in four at-bats, he takes another step forward. No pain's his gain.

The arms

Ponson became the first Oriole to go seven innings. He didn't allow a run while limiting the Expos to five hits, including a double by Peter Bergeron in the fifth after the ball popped out of Kingsale's glove as he attempted a sprawling catch. Ponson walked three and struck out three, and retired eight of the last nine batters he faced. B. J. Ryan gave up a one-out homer to Andy Tracy in the eighth. Mike Trombley allowed an infield hit to begin the ninth before recording two strikeouts and getting a game-ending groundout.

The bats

Myers raised his average to .341 (14-for-41) with two singles and his second home run. He had two RBIs. Bordick had a two-run homer in the first inning, after Brady Anderson led off with a single. Kingsale singled all four times up and drove in his fourth run. Jay Gibbons, Chris Richard and Brian Roberts each had a double among the Orioles' 13 hits.

The rest

Left-hander John Bale isn't scheduled to make another start this spring. He'll return to the bullpen, where he made five appearances before starting Saturday's game against Los Angeles and allowed two runs and six hits in four innings. ... Jose Mercedes will start for the Orioles today against the St. Louis Cardinals in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Calvin Maduro, Buddy Groom, Ryan Kohlmeier and Jorge Julio also could pitch.

The quote

"For me, spring training games count. If people think they don't count, then why are you taking batting practice? Why not wait for the season to take it? When you're 0-for-4, you get mad. Every single at-bat's important because that's the way you're going to play during the season. People say, `Oh, spring training games don't count.' For me, they count, because I don't like to lose." -- center fielder Melvin Mora.

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