Red Sox bats have case of spring fever


WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- The Baltimore Orioles can only hope that the defending division champion Boston Red Sox get this out of their system before the regular season starts.

The Red Sox are averaging nearly eight runs in Grapefruit League games, thanks in part to their 16-7 victory over the Orioles yesterday at Chain O' Lakes Park.

Third baseman Wade Boggs and outfielder Mike Greenwell drove in three runs apiece in the eight-run, second-inning assault on Orioles starter Jeff Robinson. Catcher John Marzano contributed four hits and three RBI yesterday.

"The nice thing about this time of year is you can leave that game here," manager Frank Robinson said. "But I'll tell you what -- unless you pitch well, they are capable of doing that during the regular season, too."

* Center fielder Mike Devereaux continues to be the most productive hitter in the Orioles lineup. He came into the game batting .500 (6-for-12) and delivered a windblown two-run homer in the fifth inning. His 1-for-3 performance dropped his average to .467.

* Robinson wasn't the only Orioles pitcher to have a bad day. Right-hander John Mitchell came on in relief of him and gave up six runs in 1 2/3 innings. Anthony Telford finally calmed the Boston lineup, giving up a run on five hits in three innings. J.J. Bautista finished up with two scoreless innings.

* First baseman Glenn Davis, who left Monday night's game with stiffness in his neck, was examined by a local orthopedist yesterday. X-rays were negative, and the injury was described as a slight muscle strain.

Davis will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis. The problem will be treated with ultrasound and massage.

* Newly acquired minor-league prospect Paul Carey continues to impress the front office. He singled home a run in his first at-bat yesterday, giving him an RBI or a hit in each of his first three Grapefruit League plate appearances. He later doubled off the right-field wall and has three hits in his first seven exhibition at-bats.

"It's early," Frank Robinson said. "But he came in without any preparation, and he has handled himself very well. I like that."

* Commissioner Fay Vincent visited Chain O' Lakes Park and reiterated his concerns about the economic future of baseball, particularly for small-market clubs.

"I think we need to be smart in baseball and find a way to protect all of the clubs," he said. "It isn't going to be easy, but it has to be addressed.

"The total revenues of the Seattle Mariners are less than the Boston payroll. That makes it tough for Seattle to compete."

* Randy Milligan is scheduled to appear in tomorrow's "B" game. Frank Robinson said Milligan will play left field if his sprained ankle has improved sufficiently. If not, he will be the designated hitter.

* Vincent on recent revelations that Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Len Dykstra lost more than $50,000 playing poker: "If you sit at a poker table and you don't know who the patsy is, you're the patsy."

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