Four-run fourth, Leon's 2 errors lead to defeat

Cardinals 7, Orioles 5

March 15, 2003|By Joe Christensen

After being held to one hit over the first three innings, the St. Louis Cardinals scored four runs off Orioles starter Pat Hentgen in the fourth and held on for a 7-5 victory. Jose Leon, a long shot to make the Orioles' roster, had two errors at first base that led directly to St. Louis runs. It was a frustrating day for Leon, who had two more hits, raising his average to .444. The Orioles' offensive highlight came when Larry Bigbie hit a two-run homer off Cardinals starter Garret Stephenson with two outs in the fifth inning. The ball sailed over the center-field fence, and Orioles manager Mike Hargrove called it "the furthest ball I've seen [Bigbie] hit." Jack Cust got his first hit as an Oriole in the sixth inning.

Who's hot

Gary Matthews: Quietly having a good spring offensively, batting .368.

Albert Pujols: Cardinal had three RBIs, giving him a major league-leading 21 for the spring. He has a 14-game hitting streak and is batting .441.

Who's not

Pat Hentgen: With an 8.36 ERA, he's a veteran fighting for a spot in the starting rotation.

Deivi Cruz: Defensively, he has yet to make an error in 11 games, but he went hitless in three at-bats, leaving his average at .214.

Mixed reviews

Jose Leon: A roster spot opened when David Segui broke his thumb this week. Leon is hitting enough, but he's a third baseman by trade, and yesterday showed his deficiencies at first.

Brian Roberts: One hit in five at-bats dropped his average to .226, but the one hit was a run-scoring double in the third.

Injury report

Hentgen took a line drive from Miguel Cairo off the fatty part of his right thumb in the fourth inning. He called it a non-factor, but the Cardinals did all their damage against him from that point forward. Hentgen iced the injury after the game and said he'd be fine.

Box score

ORIOLES AB R H BI ST. LOUIS AB R H BI

BRbrts 2b 5 0 1 1 Robinson rf 3 0 0 0

Matthews cf 3 1 1 0 Taguchi ph 2 0 1 0

Bigbie lf 5 1 1 2 Cairo 2b 3 1 2 1

Batista 3b 3 0 1 0 YMolina c 1 0 0 0

Valentin 3b 1 0 0 0 Rolen 3b 4 2 1 0

Gibbons rf 3 0 1 0 GJhnsn 3b 0 0 0 0

Matos rf 1 0 0 0 Pujols lf 4 2 2 3

Leon 1b 4 1 2 0 Espada 2b 1 0 0 0

DCruz ss 3 0 0 0 TMrtnz 1b 2 1 1 1

Mora ss 1 0 0 0 Painter p 0 0 0 0

Fordyce c 4 2 2 0 Plmro ph 1 0 0 0

Hentgen p 2 0 0 0 Marrero cf 4 0 1 1

Cust ph 1 0 1 2 Hamilton p 0 0 0 0

Dubose p 0 0 0 0 Fassero p 0 0 0 0

Lgtnbrg p 0 0 0 0 Girardi c 3 0 1 0

Garabito ph 1 0 0 0 Dnwdy rf 1 0 1 0

Groom p 0 0 0 0 WDlgdo ss 4 0 1 1

Stphnsn p 0 0 0 0

Levine p 0 0 0 0

Perez 1b 1 1 1 0

Abbott 1b 1 0 0 0

Totals 37 5 10 5 Totals 35 7 12 7

Orioles 001 022 000 - 5

St. Louis 000 421 00x - 7

E-Leon 2. DP-Orioles 1. LOB-Orioles 7, St. Louis 9. 2B-BRoberts, Fordyce, Cust, Pujols, TMartinez. HR-Bigbie (1). S-Stephenson 2.

Orioles IP H R ER BB SO

Hentgen L, 0-3 5 8 6 5 1 3

Dubose 1 2 1 1 0 0

Ligtenberg 1 1 0 0 0 0

Groom 1 1 0 0 1 0

St. Louis IP H R ER BB SO

Stephenson W, 1-1 5 7 3 3 1 2

Levine 2/3 3 2 2 1 0

Painter 1 1/3 0 0 0 0 2

Hamilton 1 0 0 0 0 2

Fassero S, 2 1 0 0 0 0 1

HBP-by Hentgen (Cairo). Balk-Stephenson. T-2:28. A-6,407.

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