Palmeiro's homer lifts Orioles in 9th

Orioles 7, Marlins 6 : Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


March 29, 2005|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Playing his last home exhibition game of the spring, Rafael Palmeiro hit a two-run, walk-off homer off Antonio Alfonseca to give the Orioles a 7-6 victory over the Florida Marlins yesterday.

Palmeiro launched the first pitch from Alfonseca over the right-field bleachers to cap a three-run rally that began when Brian Roberts and Melvin Mora singled with none out in the ninth inning.

Chris Gomez put down a sacrifice bunt, and Sammy Sosa lined out to left field, allowing Roberts to score.

Palmeiro followed with his first spring homer, making a winner of Jorge Julio, who tossed a perfect ninth.

The Marlins scored five times in the third, getting homers by Chris Aguila and Carlos Delgado off left-hander Erik Bedard. But Palmeiro and Javy Lopez had RBI singles in the bottom half to reduce Florida's lead to 5-2.

A throwing error by Marlins left fielder Miguel Cabrera in the sixth allowed two runs to score.

Who's hot

Rafael Palmeiro: The scribes in the press box appreciated the walk-off homer.

Melvin Mora: Did a little repair work on that .220 average with three hits. Does he bat second or third in this lineup?

Jay Gibbons: Gained more attention for his pneumonia, but has anyone noticed that he's batting .417?

Jorge Julio: The best he's looked this spring. His fastball reached 95 mph and he threw free and easy.

Bruce Chen: No runs permitted in 9 2/3 innings. No more minor league options. Seems like a no-brainer.

Who's not

Luis Matos: Became the latest victim of the blinding sun in center field.

Erik Bedard: The wind didn't help, but six runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings won't be confused with hot.

Injury report

No new injuries were reported, and the Orioles broke out a lineup that could be duplicated on Opening Day.

Orioles today

Opponent: Los Angeles Dodgers

Site: Vero Beach, Fla.

Time: 1:05 p.m.

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