And neither team has an ace.

James Johnson pitches for the Orioles today, while the St. Louis Cardinals send out left-hander Randy Flores. Jason Marquis was scheduled to start for the Cardinals, but he's been scratched. I'll find out why later.


Here's your Orioles lineup:

Corey Patterson - CF

Chris Gomez - SS

Melvin Mora - 3B

Jay Gibbons - DH

Kevin Millar - 1B

Jeff Conine - LF

Desi Relaford - 2B

Jeff Fiorentino - RF

Eli Whiteside - C

Former Oriole Larry Bigbie didn't make the trip. He strained a quadriceps muscle yesterday. Bigbie had dinner last night in Las Olas, south of Fort Lauderdale. Doesn't this guy ever stay in Jupiter?

Two other former Orioles arrived at the stadium - Sidney Ponson and Deivi Cruz. Ponson isn't scheduled to pitch, but he threw his bullpen session here. Cruz is starting at shortstop.

My prediction on Richard Hidalgo: You'll never see him wearing an Orioles uniform again. He's still unhappy that he had to settle for a minor league deal, and I seriously doubt the Orioles want him here if he's so miserable. Maybe he'll end up in Japan.

Sort of makes you wonder how subtracting Hidalgo from the outfield could impact Nick Markakis, who's 4-for-5 with a home run, four walks and three runs scored in four games.


One piece of advice for the kid: Don't wear your Tigers cap in the clubhouse anymore. Markakis did that a few days ago - the hat had the Tigers emblem on the front - and some veterans took notice. One guy joked that it's OK, because Markakis can do no wrong in the eyes of the organization. That might have been a veiled reference to owner Peter Angelos, who has a certain fondness for Greek players.