Spring Training


Oates dismisses sloppy play

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- There was a lot not to like about the intrasquad game that replaced the Orioles' scheduled exhibition against the Cleveland Indians yesterday.

But manager Johnny Oates was quick to dismiss everything other than that everybody got his work done. "Don't get any impressions from what happened out there," Oates said after Team B beat Team A, 8-3, in a sloppily played game.

"I'm not worried about today [yesterday]," said Oates. "I'm not worried about Harold Reynolds making three errors at second base and I'm not worried about Brad Pennington walking four batters in one inning."

Pennington pitched the last inning for the winners and gave up a two-run triple to Brady Anderson. Mike Mussina had pitched the first six innings, allowing four hits and one run and striking out seven.

Mark Williamson gave up six hits and five runs, three earned, in four innings for the losers. He was followed by Alan Mills, who allowed three runs on two hits and two walks, in three innings.

More work for Valenzuela

Oates said yesterday that he would take three more looks at Fernando Valenzuela before the Orioles leave Florida. The left-hander will follow Ben McDonald to the mound this afternoon against the Cincinnati Reds.

"I won't use him more than two innings," said Oates, "and then I'm going to bring him back after two days of rest on Saturday [against the St. Louis Cardinals].

"If he makes the team, that's the way he'll be used during the first month," Oates said.

Williamson is scheduled to start Saturday against the Cardinals, with Valenzuela starting the final game in Florida, against the Blue Jays.

Hammonds' hamstring OK

Jeffrey Hammonds saw his first competitive action since the first week of the exhibition season during yesterday's intrasquad game. Last year's No. 1 draft choice went 1-for-3 and reported no problems with the hamstring muscle that has kept him on the sidelines.

Hammonds is scheduled to travel to Winter Haven for tomorrow's game against the Indians but will likely be sent to the minor-league complex late this week or early next week.

He is expected to open the season with the Double-A Bowie Baysox.


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