OKLAHOMA CITY - Three of the Orioles' most impressive players this spring combined to give them a 3-1 win against the St. Louis Cardinals in their last exhibition game in Oklahoma last night.
With the score tied at 1, hot-hitting Jay Gibbons led off the ninth with a single. Pinch runner David Newhan stole second and scored on Luis Matos' triple.
Matos, who is batting nearly .400 this spring, dashed home when the relay throw from second baseman Mark Grudzielanek bounced off Matos' back and rolled away.
Gibbons drove in the game's first run in the second inning with a double.
The first half of the game belonged to left-hander Bruce Chen, who ended his perfect spring with five more shutout innings.
St. Louis scored its lone run in the sixth when Steve Kline hit Larry Walker. Walker moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Scott Rolen's single.
B.J. Ryan picked up the win; John Parrish had a one-pitch save.
Next for Orioles
Opponent: Philadelphia Phillies
Site: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
When: Tomorrow, 1:35 p.m.
Radio: 1090 AM
Bruce Chen: Wonder if he is going to put that Grapefruit League ERA title on his resume.
Jay Gibbons: Maybe he should sit out tomorrow's exhibition finale to protect his .400 average. He's up to .404 with a run-scoring double and a single in four at-bats yesterday.
Baseball in Oklahoma: Hosting its first exhibition game between major league teams since 1993, Oklahoma City enthusiastically responded. Yesterday's game was sold out (13,066 fans) and more than 11,500 showed up Thursday. There were plenty of Oklahoma-area celebrities on hand, including singer Lee Greenwood, comedian Larry The Cable Guy, former football coach Barry Switzer and former Oriole turned radio host Jim Traber.
Steve Kline: He entertained several Oklahoma State wrestlers before the game, then gave up a one-point reversal in the sixth to tie the game.
Orioles' free swingers: The Orioles struck out 10 times yesterday and 23 times total for the two games.
Third baseman Melvin Mora's magnetic resonance imaging on his right wrist was negative. He underwent treatment yesterday with assistant trainer Brian Ebel in Baltimore and is expected to play in the club's final exhibition game tomorrow. ... Second baseman Brian Roberts started yesterday after sitting out Thursday's game with a bruised right shin.
Sammy Sosa watch
Sosa singled to right in the first inning and scored the game's first run on a double by Gibbons. He struck out and grounded out in his next two at-bats and then hit a weak grounder to first to strand a runner at third in the eighth. - Dan Connolly