Johnson pitches 6 innings

He lowers ERA to 3.27

bullpen doesn't allow a run

O's 5, Marlins 2 (10 inn.)

Baseball

March 17, 2003|By Joe Christensen

Jeff Reboulet drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the 10th inning, and Larry Bigbie followed with a two-run single, giving the Orioles their third victory in the past 10 games. Jason Johnson became the first Orioles pitcher to work six innings this spring, holding the Marlins to two runs on seven hits. It was an important outing for Johnson, who is competing with Pat Hentgen and Rick Helling for the final two spots in the starting rotation. Johnson has separated himself a bit, posting a 3.27 ERA, and he made it clear yesterday that he doesn't want to get moved to the bullpen. Johnson left with the score tied 2-2, and Buddy Groom, Jorge Julio and Todd Rizzo combined to work four innings of scoreless relief, with Rizzo earning the victory.

Who's hot

Jeff Conine: He's making the Orioles lament the length of spring training after reaching base in all six plate appearances this weekend, with five hits and a walk.

Jason Johnson: As manager Mike Hargrove said, "He's throwing better than I've seen him throw in the spring."

Larry Bigbie: Leads the team with 13 RBIs. No other Oriole has more than seven.

Jack Cust: With another pinch-hit single, his average with the Orioles is .375.

Who's not

John Valentin: Team hoping third baseman Tony Batista can stay healthy, especially with Valentin batting .194.

Eddy Garabito: He was thrown out at home plate with a tie score in the 10th inning. Prolonging spring training games won't win him any favors.

Injury update

Batista has been nursing a sore right knee all spring, but the reason he has missed the past two games is a sore throat. Hargrove said that on a scale of 1 to 10, his concern for Batista's knee is a 2.

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