Spring Training : Fort Myers, Fla.

Red Sox 5, Orioles 2

March 15, 2004|By Roch Kubatko

The Opening Night preview duel between Sidney Ponson and Pedro Martinez was a dud. Martinez left after two innings with his pitch count at 54, Ponson served up two home runs in his worst outing of the spring, and the Boston Red Sox defeated the Orioles, 5-2, at City of Palms Park.

Johnny Damon and David Ortiz homered off Ponson in the third inning, when the Red Sox took a 2-1 lead.

Ponson was charged with three more runs in the fourth, the last coming on a single by Gabe Kapler off reliever John Maine.

The Orioles went ahead 1-0 in the second when Tim Raines Jr. walked with the bases loaded. They reached Mike Timlin for a run in the fifth on consecutive singles by Brian Roberts, Larry Bigbie and Miguel Tejada.

The Orioles' bullpen didn't allow a run in 4 2/3 innings. Maine blanked the Red Sox over 1 2/3 innings.

"Maine threw very well coming in," manager Lee Mazzilli said. "He had a good breaking ball. I was very pleased, especially with a kid coming in in that situation. I thought he did a really good job."

Orioles today

Exhibition opponent: Minnesota Twins

Site: Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Stadium

Time: 1:05 p.m.

TV: Comcast SportsNet

WHO'S HOT

Miguel Tejada

Has hit safely in all eight games he has played. Fire in the No. 3 hole.

Larry Bigbie

Playing the part of a No. 2 hitter, even as he's still learning the role.

John Parrish

Shut out the Red Sox over two innings, displayed better control.

Johnny Damon

Homered and reached base four times for the Red Sox. Even with long hair and a beard, he still looks like a leadoff hitter.

WHO'S NOT

Sidney Ponson

Two scoreless innings before the roof caved in. No, it wasn't because of the weight.

Javy Lopez

Struck out twice and stranded six runners.

INJURY REPORT

Infielder Mark McLemore returned to the lineup after missing time with a stiff neck. ... Center fielder Luis Matos is expected to be the designated hitter today in Fort Lauderdale, his first game since being diagnosed with a superficial stress fracture in his right shin. ... Minor league pitcher Darwin Cubillan still is experiencing tightness in his right shoulder.

ARMS RACE

Ponson isn't pitching like an Opening Night starter, but the job still belongs to him. He was charged with five runs in 3 1/3 innings, walking four and striking out two. His ERA jumped to 8.00 in nine innings. Left-handers Omar Daal and Matt Riley, competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, pitch today against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Lauderdale.

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