Cardinals 6, Orioles 3

March 27, 2001|By Roch Kubatko

Rating the players

****

Jay Gibbons: A pretty smart December pickup.

***

Jeff Conine: His average is up to .344, and his 14 RBIs lead the team.

**

Cal Ripken: The bat was slow on his opposite-field double, but it did the job. And again, no setbacks.

Jerry Hairston: Contributes a fifth-inning single, but he's scuffling.

Jose Mercedes: He'll never get three stars because that's his unlucky number.

*

Ryan Kohlmeier: Would have been worse if a save had been on the line.

The arms

Mercedes allowed 10 hits and four runs (three earned) in six innings. On the plus side, he didn't walk anyone and was extended to 97 pitches. He allowed a leadoff homer to Jim Edmonds in the fifth and also hit a batter. Buddy Groom, pitching for the first time since March 20, didn't allow a ball out of the infield in the seventh, but gave up two singles leading off the eighth. Both runners scored off Ryan Kohlmeier, who gave up a hit and walked two in two innings.

The bats

The Orioles finished with 10 hits, including two by Conine, who had a run-scoring single in the first and another single in the eighth. Brady Anderson led off the first with a double and scored on Ripken's first spring hit. Gibbons belted his third homer, giving him 10 RBIs, and also was walked intentionally and hit by a pitch. Hairston, Brian Roberts, Delino DeShields (stolen base), Brook Fordyce and Melvin Mora each singled.

The rest

Willis Roberts will start for the Orioles tonight against the Florida Marlins in Viera. Kohlmeier, Alan Mills, Chad Paronto and left-hander Chuck McElroy will be available in the bullpen. Vladimir Nunez will start for the Marlins. ... Anderson made a sliding catch near the right-field line to rob Mark McGwire in the fifth.

The quote

"My time will come. I'm still around. If not this year, then maybe next year. I just want to pitch for the team." - Mercedes, on being bypassed for the Opening Day start.

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