Although he hasn't revealed it publicly, Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said before last night's game that he had already made up his mind as to who would be his fifth starter.
For Rick Bauer, that could be a good thing.
A leading candidate for the final rotation spot, Bauer gave up five runs and seven hits in four innings yesterday as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Orioles, 5-1.
The Cardinals scored all five runs against Bauer in the third, sending 10 batters to the plate. He gave up two walks, four singles and a double in the inning.
Bauer's stiffest competition for fifth starter, Bruce Chen, pitches today. He has yet to allow a run in 9 2/3 innings.
While Bauer was scuffling, St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter was making easy work of the Orioles' hitters. He allowed three hits, walked one and struck out seven in five innings.
The Orioles scored an unearned run in the fourth when Rafael Palmeiro walked, moved to second on an error by St. Louis third baseman Scott Rolen and scored on a single by Enrique Wilson.
Enrique Wilson: The veteran isn't going down without a fight. Battling Chris Gomez for the backup utility role, Wilson had the Orioles' only meaningful hit last night, a run-scoring single.
Eric DuBose: OK, so two scoreless innings during the middle of a spring training game normally is nothing to write home about, no matter what alphabet you use. But after DuBose's troubles during the past 10 days - a DUI arrest and a nine-run outing Sunday - this qualifies as a major bright spot. Still, it could be his final outing before being sent to the minor leagues.
Orioles bats: The team combined for 13 strikeouts yesterday, a franchise record for most times striking out in an Oklahoma-based exhibition game.
Rick Bauer: His ERA jumped from 4.32 to 6.62 in one outing. A shaky defense behind him didn't help matters.
Miguel Tejada: Not a great evening for the Orioles' shortstop. He struck out in his first two at-bats against Chris Carpenter. And, facing Cal Eldred in the sixth, he was plunked in the left shoulder. Tejada was removed from the game for precautionary reasons.
Third baseman Melvin Mora skipped the two-game series in Oklahoma City with a bruised right hand. He could play Sunday in Philadelphia, manager Lee Mazzilli said. ... Second baseman Brian Roberts sat out yesterday's game after fouling a ball off his right shin Wednesday. He is listed as day-to-day.
Sammy Sosa watch
Sosa struck out in his first two at-bats against Carpenter. He grounded into a double play in his third at-bat.
Opponent: St. Louis Cardinals
Site: Oklahoma City
Radio: 1090 AM