Orioles 7, Expos 4

Spring Training : Viera, Fla.

Baseball

March 13, 2004|By Joe Christensen

Tim Raines led off the seventh inning with a home run, breaking a 4-4 tie, and added a run-scoring single in the eighth as the Orioles overcame four errors to claim their fourth victory in nine exhibition games.

Raines went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and finished a triple short of the cycle. Clay Bellinger also hit a two-run homer for the Orioles, who blew a pair of early two-run leads but held on late to win their second in a row.

Orioles starter Kurt Ainsworth was charged with four runs in 3 1/3 innings, but only two of those runs were earned. Behind him, the defense was shaky. Second baseman Mike Fontenot mishandled a routine double-play grounder in the second inning.

Then in the third, Orioles left fielder Jack Cust failed to make a diving catch that would have helped Ainsworth escape a tough jam with only one run scoring. With two outs, Nick Johnson lofted a double down the left-field line. The slow-footed Cust raced over, but couldn't make an inning-ending catch, allowing the tying run to score.

Bellinger committed an error at shortstop to start the fourth inning, and that led to two unearned runs off Ainsworth, who allowed five hits and struck out three.

WHO'S HOT

Tim Raines

Batting .529 and proving the Orioles do have center-field depth behind Luis Matos.

Kurt Ainsworth

So that's why Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan were so happy July 31.

B.J. Ryan

Two more scoreless innings on the day his manager tabs him as a setup man.

WHO'S NOT

Mike Fontenot

The little guy can hit, but his glove work pales in comparison to Jerry Hairston's and Brian Roberts'.

Jack Cust

Speaking of gloves. Isn't about time Cust put his away for the season?

Bob Watson

Apparently his attempts to speed up the games didn't apply to spring training. The Orioles seem to top three hours every day.

INJURY REPORT

Matos was cleared to play, after a bone scan revealed just a tiny superficial stress fracture on his right shin. ... Shortstop Miguel Tejada, who left Thursday's game with cramps in his right calf, could return today, manager Lee Mazzilli said. ... Third baseman Melvin Mora's left elbow was a little sore one day after he got drilled by a fastball, but he should be back in the lineup in a couple days. ... Utility man Mark McLemore has missed the past three games with neck stiffness, but again, it's not a major concern.

ARMS RACE

Ainsworth is on schedule to start the third game of the season, behind Sidney Ponson and Rodrigo Lopez, and this start was another indication he's ready to be this team's No. 3 starter. Today, left-hander Eric DuBose will make his third appearance and second start of the spring. He is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA.

Orioles today

Exhibition opponent: New York Mets

Site: Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Stadium

Time: 1:05 p.m.

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