Roch around the clock

ROCH AROUND THE CLOCK

The Kickoff

March 02, 2006|By ROCH KUBATKO

The Orioles prepared for today's exhibition opener by holding a scrimmage after yesterday's workout. It's a term more commonly associated with football, but there's no other way to describe it. The two sides had an unlimited number of outs, batting practice pitcher Orlando Gomez threw to both teams from behind a protective screen, and runners were put on base so they could practice going from first to third. ...

After rescinding his trade demand to another intrasquad team, Javy Lopez hit into a double play. Chris Gomez, David Newhan and Miguel Tejada also hit into double plays in the extended inning. Gomez must be a ground-ball batting practice pitcher.

Keith Reed made a leaping catch of a Jay Gibbons line drive that looked like it would sail over his head in right field. Nick Markakis took Rick Dempsey deep the next inning, clearing the bleachers in right. Leo Daigle also homered, and he flied to the warning track in left in an earlier at-bat.

Markakis, by the way, was crushing the ball in batting practice, too. Everything about this guy is impressive.

Val Majewski played left field, and he ran down a ball near the fence. Richard Hidalgo went from making $5 million last season to following Eddy Garabito in a scrimmage, but he lined a run-scoring single to left in his first at-bat. Hidalgo is wearing Rafael Palmeiro's No. 25.

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

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