Rain, Day put damper on O's day

Expos 3, Orioles 0

March 24, 2003|By Roch Kubatko

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Rain ended yesterday's game in the top of the eighth inning, assuring that the Montreal Expos would defeat the Orioles, 3-0. Expos starter Zach Day allowed two hits and faced the minimum number of batters through six innings. Rick Helling allowed two runs in the second inning on a balk with runners on the corners and an error on third baseman Tony Batista, who failed to catch Geronimo Gil's throw on Jose Macias' stolen base. Frustrated by the balk call and Batista's lapse, manager Mike Hargrove bolted from his chair beside the dugout and stormed into the clubhouse. Jose Offerman's run-scoring single in the fifth gave the Expos a 3-0 lead.

Who's hot

Zach Day: Could move up to third in Expos' rotation because of injuries. Yesterday, he was pure No. 1.

Buddy Groom: One earned run in 6 1/3 innings this spring. Needed consoling after finding out he'd fall short of 70 appearances in Grapefruit League.

Who's not

Tony Batista: Time to dial up the effort. Going at his own pace - the kind that allows glaciers to melt.

Bruce Dreckman: Appeared to make the wrong call on Helling's balk. Deserves kudos, however, for not overreacting and ejecting Hargrove. At least he was aware of the calendar.

Mixed review

Jack Cust: The Orioles are withholding judgment on his outfield skills, but he's looking a bit like a statue in left field. Pigeons are beginning to land on his head, and kids are sticking pennies in his ears. But the ball sure makes a loud sound coming off his bat.

Injury report

Omar Daal is receiving treatment for inflammation in his left shoulder, which the club insists is nothing to fret about. Otherwise, it's the usual assortment of aches and pains.

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