Spring Training : Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Orioles 5, Twins 4

March 16, 2004|By Roch Kubatko

Jay Gibbons broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run double in the sixth inning, and the Orioles held on yesterday to defeat the Minnesota Twins, 5-4.

Gibbons lined his double down the right-field line to score Rafael Palmeiro and Luis Matos. A sacrifice fly by Jose Bautista increased the Orioles' lead to 5-2 before the Twins scored twice in the ninth off reliever B.J. Ryan.

Ryan stranded the tying run at second to pick up the save, halting the Orioles' losing streak at two.

Omar Daal gave up a two-run homer to Jose Offerman in the second inning, but the Orioles responded with a sacrifice fly by Miguel Tejada in the third and a run-scoring double by Melvin Mora in the fifth after a two-out walk to Brian Roberts. Mora went 3-for-4, and Gibbons was 2-for-3.

The Orioles went exclusively with left-handers, beginning with Daal, who permitted two runs and four hits in four innings. Matt Riley allowed one hit over three shutout innings, and Buddy Groom breezed through the eighth before Ryan got into trouble.

Rick Helling, who began last season with the Orioles, allowed one run and four hits in three innings.

WHO'S HOT

Melvin Mora

Only mistake was trying to stretch a single into a double in the first inning. Not a bad-looking No. 2 hitter - as if the team is short on candidates.

Matt Riley

Only one walk in three innings. Major progress.

Jay Gibbons

No wonder the Los Angeles Dodgers love this guy. Can the Orioles afford to part with him?

Robert Machado

Had a hit, scored a run and threw out a runner attempting to steal. Once convinced he should start, he'd gladly back up Javy Lopez.

WHO'S NOT

Omar Daal

Wasn't roughed up too badly, but keeps missing his spots. And the club saw too much of that last season.

Tom Trebelhorn

Sending Luis Matos from first base in an exhibition game? And with no outs? OK, let's try to keep him in one piece for Opening Night.

B.J. Ryan

Game lasted only 2 hours, 12 minutes. Ryan looked as if he had selected three hours in the clubhouse pool.

INJURY REPORT

Second baseman Jerry Hairston is supposed to have the splint removed from his fractured right ring finger on March 26, and it doesn't appear that he needs surgery. But it's unlikely he'll avoid a trip to the disabled list.

ARMS RACE

The only runs off Daal in four innings came on a two-run homer by Jose Offerman, but the left-hander must do a better job of locating his pitches. The ball is staying high in the zone, and that's trouble. Riley tightened the race for the fifth starter's job by holding the Twins to one hit over three scoreless innings. Rodrigo Lopez and Erik Bedard will pitch today against the Florida Marlins in Jupiter.

Orioles today

Exhibition opponent: Florida Marlins

Site: Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter, Fla.

Time: 1:05 p.m.

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