Roch around the clock


March 12, 2006|By ROCH KUBATKO

The bullpen is a mess and the offense took the day off and went to the beach. I wish I had joined it.

The St. Louis Cardinals extended the Orioles' losing streak to five games with a 5-0 victory in Jupiter, Fla. The margin almost grew after Franklyn Gracesqui loaded the bases in the eighth, but Chris Britton got the last out.

Gracesqui still isn't showing off that 98-mph fastball he is said to possess. "We didn't see a drastic improvement in his velocity," manager Sam Perlozzo said, attaching yesterday's outing with the reliever's Vero Beach appearance, when one scout had him in the high 80s. "We were hoping to see him air it out, but it looked about the same."

There is some positive news, though.

Pitching coach Leo Mazzone watched Hayden Penn work the third inning, turned to Perlozzo and said, "That's a major league pitcher right there."

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