Marlins 6, Orioles 2

Baseball

March 28, 2001|By Joe Strauss

Rating the players

* * * *

Willis Roberts: The more you see, the more you like. Has carried winter league success through spring training.

Charles Johnson: Ex-Oriole took Roberts deep in the fifth inning. He entered last night's game batting .429 and now has four home runs. Think last year was fluke?

* *

Cal Ripken: He has swung a bat in four games this spring, and the rust shows swinging and sprinting. Been there, done that. He'll dial it up on Opening Day.

Delino DeShields: No errors, but plenty of defensive hijinks in left field.

The arms

Roberts may not make the starting rotation, but he will be part of the Opening Day staff. The nonroster right-hander added five innings to his spring total. He faced the minimum nine hitters through three innings and solved the Marlins except for leadoff hitter Luis Castillo. Roberts struck out seven without a walk in five innings, giving him 22 strikeouts against seven walks in 19 exhibition innings. Reliever Alan Mills was hammered in his third appearance of the spring, surrendering a 450-foot blast to Cliff Floyd over the 30-foot batter's eye in center field. Mills conceded before the game that he is not ready to pitch on consecutive days. All signs point to him starting the season on the disabled list.

The bats

Ripken played his fourth consecutive game and failed to lift the ball from the infield. He grounded to third his first two at-bats and chopped a ball to second in his third appearance. He left the game after 5 1/3 innings. Chris Richard collected his team-high 24th and 25th hits of camp, including a second-inning double. He eventually scored on Melvin Mora's single off third baseman Mike Lowell's face. The Orioles failed to score after loading the bases with no outs in the third inning. Ripken, Richard and Mora stranded the runners. The sixth inning was a base-running nightmare, as Richard was picked off second base on a grounder to the mound and Greg Myers was easily thrown out attempting to advance on a passed ball. The Orioles' projected starting lineup has 10 home runs this spring, led by Mora's three.

The rest

Pat Hentgen (0-2, 5.21 ERA) makes his final start of spring today. He'll attempt to establish positive momentum heading into Monday's Opening Day start following a seven-inning beating in Jupiter on Friday. ... The team returns to Fort Lauderdale after today's game, buses to Port St. Lucie tomorrow to play the New York Mets, then sees the Mets in Fort Lauderdale on Friday in its final home game.

The quote

"Knowing something is better than knowing nothing." - Myers, on his uncertain standing with less than a week remaining in camp.

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