O's mostly off base in opener

Hits in short supply as team starts preseason with loss to Florida

Marlins 6 Orioles 4

March 03, 2006|By JEFF ZREBIEC | JEFF ZREBIEC,SUN REPORTER

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Only able to muster two hits through seven innings, the Orioles fell, 6-4, to the Florida Marlins yesterday afternoon in their preseason opener before 4,206 at Fort Lauderdale Stadium.

Before leaving for the World Baseball Classic, Marlins All-Star pitcher Dontrelle Willis pitched 2 2/3 innings, allowing one hit - an RBI single by center fielder Luis Matos in the third inning.

Jeff Fiorentino and Alejandro Freire had RBI hits in the eighth inning for the Orioles.

"The first three innings, they had a guy pitching against us that got a lot of good lineups out," said Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo, who returned to the team after missing Wednesday's workout with flu-like symptoms. "I thought our hitters were a hair off. They'll come around. I'm not too concerned about that."

Orioles starter Rodrigo Lopez allowed two runs and four hits in two innings, but he easily could have gotten out of the Marlins' two-run first unscathed.

Shortstop Miguel Tejada dropped a ball and was unable to complete what could have been an inning-ending double play. Then, center fielder Matos couldn't hold onto Miguel Cabrera's deep hit, the ball popping out of his glove near the wall for a triple.

Erik Bedard, who like Lopez left the team after the game en route to playing in the Classic, pitched two innings, giving up three hits and one run. Orioles reliever John Stephens gave up three runs in 1 1/3 innings, including a two-run homer by catcher Josh Willingham.

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