Spring Training : Fort Myers, Fla.

Twins 5, Orioles 3

March 19, 2004|By Peter Schmuck

Left-hander Eric DuBose hoped to cement his position in the Orioles' regular-season rotation with a strong performance yesterday, but he surrendered home runs in each of the first two innings and allowed four runs on five hits in his first five-inning appearance.

DuBose struck out the first two batters in the first inning, but he allowed back-to-back singles to Doug Mientkiewicz and Corey Koskie before Matt LeCroy launched a three-run homer.

Top Twins prospect Joe Mauer also went deep, driving a ball over the left-field fence with one out in the second, but the Orioles battled back to make it a tight game with one run in the third and two unearned runs in the fifth.

Twins outfield candidate Michael Restovich gave Minnesota breathing room in the bottom of the eighth inning with a two-out, RBI single off Orioles reliever Rick Bauer that scored Luis Rivas.

The Orioles loaded the bases in the top of the ninth, but center fielder Lew Ford ran down a line drive by Brian Roberts to end the game.

WHO'S HOT

Luis Matos

Made his third straight start and had a double and a single in four at-bats to raise his average to .400 (6-for-15). He is 5-for-12 with two doubles since returning from a shin problem.

Mark McLemore

Entered the game batting just .125 in exhibition play, but had two singles in three at-bats and drove in the first Orioles run. Started at shortstop in place of Miguel Tejada.

B.J. Surhoff

Two infield hits in a 2-for-4 day raised his spring average from .250 to .292. Who knew he was that fast on his feet?

WHO'S NOT

Melvin Mora

He went 0-for-4 yesterday and has just a walk in his past nine plate appearances.

Jack Cust

He homered in Wednesday's game, then went hitless in three at-bats to drop his exhibition average to .167.

INJURY REPORT

Outfielder Jay Gibbons left the game after his third at-bat, walking gingerly after a close play at first base. He slightly jammed his right big toe and was replaced by Darnell McDonald but insisted he could have stayed in the game. ... Matos, back from what the club called a "mild stress reaction" in his right shin, started for the third straight game and made his second straight outfield appearance. He played nine innings.

ARMS RACE

Eric DuBose collected himself after a rough start and gave up just one hit over his final three innings. He struck out five and walked just one. ... Rick Bauer, who struggled his last time out (five runs, three earned), bounced back with a solid relief performance. He held the Twins scoreless for two innings, but he allowed a two-out RBI single in the eighth.

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