Spring Training : Jupiter, Fla.

Marlins 10, Orioles 2

March 17, 2004|By Joe Christensen

Hee Seop Choi hit a three-run homer off Orioles starter Rodrigo Lopez in the first inning, and the Florida Marlins cruised to a 10-2 victory yesterday at Roger Dean Stadium.

Lopez, who had posted a 1.80 ERA in his first two starts, gave up four runs in the first inning and then held the Marlins scoreless through the third. He allowed five hits and three walks but said he was trying a new cut fastball that he had been experimenting with in the bullpen.

The Orioles trimmed Florida's lead in the fourth inning, when Javy Lopez hit a two-run homer. It was the former Atlanta catcher's first home run of the spring.

The Marlins built a 6-2 lead against Orioles reliever Daniel Cabrera, and things turned ugly when the Orioles brought in 19-year-old Adam Loewen in the seventh inning.

Loewen, who had walked all four batters he faced on March 10, didn't fare much better. He walked the first batter, hit the second and walked the third. After a rain delay, Aaron Rakers replaced Loewen, and all three of Loewen's runners came around to score.

WHO'S HOT

Miguel Tejada

Has hit safely in eight of his nine games this spring.

Javy Lopez

Showed off the home run trot he used 43 times last season.

Melvin Mora

His defense has gone from shaky to stalwart in two weeks.

WHO'S NOT

Adam Loewen

The $4 million kid has an 81.00 ERA.

Rodrigo Lopez

Needed 71 pitches to get through three innings, and his ERA jumped to 5.63.

Mark McLemore

Went 0-for-3, dropping his average to .125.

INJURY REPORT

Luis Matos showed no ill effects from his slide into home plate Monday. He had been out since March 4 with a superficial stress fracture in his right shin. Manager Lee Mazzilli said it will be a couple of days before Matos returns to center field.

ARMS RACE

Lopez is lined up to be the Orioles' No. 2 starter this season, but for the first time in three starts, he did not look worthy of that distinction. His two-out walk to Jeff Conine in the first inning didn't sit well with Mazzilli, who has listed two-out walks among his pet peeves. Two batters later, Hee Seop Choi hit his three-run home run. Today, projected No. 3 starter Kurt Ainsworth will make his third start of the spring, with Erik Bedard scheduled to pitch in relief. The Orioles are scheduled to face Houston Astros left-hander Andy Pettitte, their former Yankees nemesis.

Orioles today

Exhibition opponent: Houston Astros

Site: Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Stadium

Time: 1:05 p.m.

TV: Comcast SportsNet

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