Club hopes Davis' homer is sign of things to come


BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Baltimore Orioles saw a sigh yesterday that they believe will become quite familiar this season -- a Glenn Davis home run.

Davis connected for his first of the spring in the fourth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates' Bob Walk, then ignored manager Frank Robinson's congratulatory handshake when he returned to the dugout.

"I was looking for Joe Orsulak," Davis said. "He was kidding around that this guy [Walk] owned me, that I couldn't touch him. That was going through my mind, and I didn't even see Frank.

"Sometimes, I get a little intense."

Robinson took the situation good-naturedly, saying that Davis "just blew right by me. It's good to see him start swinging the bat."

Davis said he is getting more comfortable at the plate after starting slowly because of muscle spasms in his neck.

"I'm getting my hands going and getting some good at-bats. I'm right on a lot of pitches that I can hit, and usually I swing at everything down there," he said.

But his shoulder has become bothersome. "I think some muscles in there tried to compensate, and they're acting up," he said. "But, hopefully, I can play on through it. At this point, I need to get my work in.

"I don't normally lock in gear until the last few games so I can get a little momentum into the season. It's getting to that time."

* Gregg Olson had his most productive outing of the spring, pitching two scoreless, hitless innings with one strikeout.

"I felt fine, probably the best I have in spring training," he said. "But it's hard for me to tell what I should be like down here. I'm at square one.

"Last year, spring training was shortened, and the year before that I didn't know what to expect. I was just a rook [rookie]. I don't know whether I'm ahead, behind or right on schedule."

Olson said he will be ready for Opening Day on April 8, and pitching coach Al Jackson is encouraged by his latest effort.

"He's coming," Jackson said. "He popped some today and even tried to overthrow a couple."

* The Pirates pulled a spring-training triple play in the sixth inning when Craig Worthington lined to first baseman Gary Redus and two Orioles, Davis and Dwight Evans, were running on the pitch from second and first bases.

Redus caught the shot, threw to shortstop Jay Bell, then took the relay to complete the play.

"I've been coming down here a long time, so I guess I've seen one, but I can't remember it," Robinson said. "Worthy actually did a good job on that play, did what he was supposed to do. Redus could have gotten it unassisted, but I guess he wanted to share the wealth."

* The Orioles will break camp in Sarasota tomorrow morning and head for Florida's Atlantic coast for 10 games in nine days, beginning with a matchup at Vero Beach against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

They will be headquartered in Fort Lauderdale and will operate out of Municipal Stadium in Pompano Beach, the former spring home of the Texas Rangers.

Other opponents on this final segment in Florida include the Montreal Expos, New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves.

* Dave Johnson starts today against the Phillies in Clearwater.

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