Haunted by past
Former Oriole John Maine turned in another dominant performance, rubbing more salt in the wounds of fans who grew to despise the Kris Benson trade. He blanked the Orioles on one hit over six innings, striking out seven and facing one batter over the minimum, and received a standing ovation from New York Mets fans sitting behind the visiting dugout. Maine's ERA dropped to 1.85 in six spring starts, best in the National League. He has allowed 17 hits and walked five in 25 1/3 innings. Nick Markakis had the only hit off him yesterday, a ground single to center field in the fourth inning. Luke Scott walked to open the third and was picked off.
What has happened to the Orioles' bats? Have they already been placed on the truck headed to Baltimore? The Orioles have totaled 10 or more hits in one of their past 13 games after doing it in 10 of their first 11. "That's exhibition," manager Dave Trembley said. "I think guys are ready to get out of here." The Orioles finished with two hits yesterday, including an infield single by Scott Moore with two outs in the ninth inning. Oscar Salazar came to the plate representing the potential winning run, but he lined out against Mets reliever Nelson Figueroa. Salazar crushed the ball and it carried to deep center field. Just not deep enough.
Keeping his cool
If yesterday's game had been played during the regular season, Trembley might have watched the ending on his office television after being ejected. Trembley became agitated in the ninth inning when Figueroa appeared to be "quick-pitching" a few batters, including Moore, who barely had time to get set in the box. Trembley walked out of the dugout to argue with plate umpire Todd Tichenor, and first base umpire Ed Rapuano tried to defuse the situation by yelling "I know, Dave, I know." Rapuano called a ball against Chad Bradford earlier this spring for the same violation.
Trembley hasn't named his fifth starter or revealed the identities of his long relievers, so Jon Leicester remains in the mix until told otherwise. He'll make his third spring start, and his seventh appearance overall, today against the Florida Marlins in Fort Lauderdale.