Marlins 5, Orioles 3

March 29, 2001|By Joe Strauss

Rating the players

* * * *

Calvin Maduro: Stealth nonroster relief candidate pitched a perfect sixth inning and has retired his past 10 hitters faced. Should avoid today's round of cuts.

Jeff Conine: Three at-bats, three hits and his third triple and 10th extra-base hit of camp. Trade candidate also is leading Orioles with a .385 average. Anyone interested?

Jerry Hairston: Awoke from a funk with three hits and saved at least one run with a running catch-and-throw from behind second base in the second inning.

* *

Fernando Lunar: He's supposedly the Orioles' backup catcher but is this spring's Invisible Man. Is sitting on 20 at-bats and a .100 average while being tutored by hitting coach Terry Crowley.

*

Pat Hentgen: Opening Day starter has allowed 12 runs in his past two starts. He will leave Florida without a win and as the rotation's least consistent member.

The arms

Winless in five starts, Hentgen stoked concerns about his readiness for Monday's opener by allowing five earned runs in five innings. His first three pitches to Marlins first baseman Derrek Lee resulted in two wind-aided home runs. A control pitcher, he fueled a three-run third inning with a four-pitch walk to Mike Lowell with two outs. Calvin Maduro, B. J. Ryan and Mike Trombley allowed only two hits in three innings. Trombley has softly constructed a solid spring, striking out 11 while walking one and allowing a .167 average.

The bats

Conine continues to enjoy a breakout spring. He scored the game's first run after tripling in the second inning. Conine has three triples in 65 at-bats this spring compared with three in 1,162 at-bats covering the past three seasons. Cal Ripken struggled to an 0-for-4 game, dropping him to 1-for-14 in five games. Ripken's lone hit this spring -- an opposite-field double -- is his only ball out of the infield so far. The Orioles extended a curious trend with double-play balls. They have grounded into 31 double plays this spring.

The rest

Manager Mike Hargrove began the game in a bad mood when plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt ruled Hentgen hit Lyle Mouton on the sleeve with a first-inning pitch. When Hargrove protested, Wendelstedt's retort could be heard throughout the park. ... Chuck McElroy makes his final start of spring today against the Mets. ... Orioles pitching stands at third in the American League this spring with a 4.44 ERA and sixth with a .290 team batting average.

The quote

"The harder you try to get a hit, the harder it is to get one." -- Ripken on trying to remain patient at the plate.

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