The Orioles sent nine batters to the plate in the first inning and scored five runs yesterday, and Sidney Ponson prepared for his Opening Night assignment by defeating the St. Louis Cardinals, 10-2.
Slated to face the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, Ponson held St. Louis to one run over five innings. He allowed seven hits before Darwin Cubillan replaced him in the sixth.
"There were a couple things I didn't like," he said. "But I have one more bullpen session and I can correct it."
The Orioles (11-14-1) gave Ponson a 5-1 lead in the first. Miguel Tejada singled to drive in Brian Roberts, who led off with a double. Jay Gibbons had a two-run single, and David Segui added a two-run double.
A two-run double by Javy Lopez in the second increased the lead to 7-1.
Tejada drove in another run in the sixth after Roberts doubled again and took third on a wild pitch. Keith Osik and Jack Cust each had an RBI hit in the eighth after the Cardinals scored once off Buddy Groom.
Two doubles and a single. Sure looks like a leadoff hitter.
Doubled to the fence in center field to score two runs after hitting first homer on Monday. Also lined out to third.
Pack this guy in bubble wrap and get him out of Florida before he's lost for the season.
Named the fifth starter 18 months after Tommy John surgery.
Held the Mets to one unearned run in seven innings Sunday and still got demoted to the bullpen.
Orioles teed off on him as if the game were being played in Augusta.
Pitcher Omar Daal had exploratory arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder yesterday in Birmingham, Ala., and the Orioles were waiting for the results. Daal is expected to miss at least one month of the season. ... Right fielder Jay Gibbons returned to the lineup after a magnetic resonance imaging test Monday revealed only a deep bruise in his right knee.
Manager Lee Mazzilli named Kurt Ainsworth the club's third starter, Matt Riley the fourth and Erik Bedard the fifth. Rodrigo Lopez has been sent to the bullpen but could be used as a spot starter. Sidney Ponson will pitch the opener, followed by Eric DuBose. The Orioles have three left-handers in their rotation, and only one starter (Ponson) with a full year of major league experience.
Exhibition opponent: Florida Marlins
Site: Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Stadium
Time: 1:05 p.m.
Radio: WBAL (1090 AM)