Witasick blows lead in tie with Cards

Orioles 5, Cardinals 5 : Jupiter, Fla.


March 31, 2005|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Reliever Jay Witasick couldn't hold a one-run lead in the ninth inning yesterday, and the Orioles had to settle for a 5-5 tie against the St. Louis Cardinals in a game that was called after the 10th.

The Orioles, playing their last exhibition game in Florida, have been tied three times this spring.

Trailing 4-3 in the eighth, the Orioles moved ahead against Cardinals left-hander Ray King. Jay Gibbons and Geronimo Gil had run-scoring singles.

Melvin Mora had a sacrifice fly in the first inning and Sammy Sosa added a run-scoring double to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead. But the Cardinals went ahead 4-2 in the second against Rodrigo Lopez, who was making his last start before Opening Day.

Reggie Sanders hit a two-run homer to left field to tie the game, and David Eckstein and Mark Grudzielanek had run-scoring doubles.

Lopez allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out five.

Who's hot

Brian Roberts: Would feel a lot better about those three hits if he hadn't been nailed on the shin. That wasn't a smile on his face after the game.

Sammy Sosa: Two doubles and an RBI leave his average at .340. Will his April be this hot?

B.J. Ryan: All five runs off him this spring came in one game. Further proof that ERAs can be deceiving.

Who's not

Jay Witasick: Blows a save and puts himself in further danger of losing his bullpen spot to Todd Williams, who's on the 40-man roster and hasn't given up a run this spring. One scout from another organization said his team would claim Williams in a heartbeat if he goes on waivers.

Enrique Wilson: Goes 0-for-3 and loses more ground to Chris Gomez, who went 1-for-2 with a run scored, for utility job.

Injury report

X-rays on Melvin Mora's right hand were negative after he was hit by a pitch in the third inning. ... Roberts fouled a ball off his right shin, but he escaped with only a bruise.

Orioles tonight

Opponent: St. Louis Cardinals

Site: Oklahoma City

Time: 8:05 Radio: 1090 AM

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