Spring Training : Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Orioles 6, Marlins 5

March 05, 2004|By ROCH KUBATKO

Minor league second baseman Mike Fontenot hit a two-run, opposite-field homer in the eighth inning off Mike Flannery to give the Orioles a 6-5 win over the world champion Florida Marlins in the exhibition opener for both clubs. The Orioles used a fielder's choice grounder from Eddy Garabito and a double by Geronimo Gil in the seventh to tie the game, 4-4, but the Marlins went ahead in the eighth against Dave Crouthers. Florida chased starter Sidney Ponson in the second inning and catcher Ramon Castro homered twice, but the Orioles overcame four errors to win.

They finished with 16 hits. Ponson allowed three runs (two earned) and three hits in 1 2/3 innings. Castro had a two-run homer off him in the second and added a bases-empty shot off John Maine in the sixth for a 4-2 lead. Shortstop Miguel Tejada homered in the third inning off Josh Beckett, last year's World Series Most Valuable Player.

Rafael Palmeiro celebrated his return by lining a run-scoring single off Beckett in the first to give the Orioles an early lead. Another newcomer, Mike DeJean, picked up the save, inducing a double play. "I liked everything," manager Lee Mazzilli said. "The guys ran the bases aggressively. It was good. We incorporated all the things I said we wanted to do early."

Orioles today

Exhibition opponent: Florida Marlins

Site: Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter, Fla.

Time: 1:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: None

WHO'S HOT

Miguel Tejada

Overcame an error - that's two, including an intrasquad game - with his home run. Still dealing with the pressure of replacing Deivi Cruz.

Mike Fontenot

Opposite-field power from a 5-foot-8 infielder? Well, the wind might have helped a little.

Rafael Palmeiro

Same stroke, a little extra motivation. Could add up to a monster year in this lineup.

Eddy Garabito

Homered in an intrasquad game and had a hit and RBI yesterday. If not for a bad call at the plate, would have had two RBIs.

WHO'S NOT

Jerry Hairston

Reminded everyone how valuable he is manufacturing runs atop the order, and how quickly he can go away.

Melvin Mora

A fielding error in an intrasquad game, a throwing error yesterday. If third base is the hot corner, Mora has griddle marks on his uniform pants.

INJURY REPORT

Hairston fractured the knuckle on his right ring finger and should miss four to six weeks. ... Outfielder Marty Cordova wasn't at the park because of flu symptoms.

ARMS RACE

Eric DuBose made a statement for his inclusion in the rotation with 2 1/3 scoreless innings. The only hit off him was a blooper into right field, and he struck out three. More starting candidates, including Omar Daal and Rick Bauer, are scheduled to pitch today against the Marlins in Jupiter, Fla. Daal will start.

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