VIERA, Fla. - Starting pitcher Scott Erickson continued his spring dominance yesterday.
Erickson pitched five strong innings in the Orioles' 3-0 loss to the Florida Marlins. He gave up three hits and two unearned runs, walking none and striking out two. Erickson has surrendered one run in 11 innings this spring for an 0.81 ERA. He has walked one.
He was the first Orioles pitcher to go five innings, and catcher Chris Hoiles said he had the same velocity late as he did early.
"I'm not real concerned with pushing it right now," Erickson said. "As long as I'm ready by Opening Day, that's what matters."
Erickson worked quickly, throwing 60 pitches. He was on a 70-pitch limit.
"For right now, that was fine," pitching coach Pat Dobson said. "He's a horse. He probably could have pitched another inning, but we had other guys who had to pitch, too."
The Orioles waived outfielder Kimera Bartee yesterday. Any team can claim Bartee for a $25,000 fee. His waiver period ends tomorrow. Bartee started spring slowly with a sore shoulder and said he did not feel confident playing alongside major-leaguers until recently.
The Orioles have several outfielders with more big-league experience, and Bartee could not be reassigned to Triple-A Rochester because he is out of options.
Bartee, 23, hit .284 in 53 games with Double-A Bowie last year and stole 22 bases. But he hit .154 in 15 Triple-A games. He was traded to Minnesota in August to get Erickson, but the Orioles reacquired him in December's Rule 5 draft.
Hoiles armed, ready
Hoiles continues to rebuild his arm strength. Early in camp, his throws to second were weak but accurate. Now, there's more zip on his tosses, and he is feeling like he did before his shoulder problems.
"I definitely notice a difference in what I can do now," Hoiles said. "I've been long tossing every day. I can notice a progression from week to week."
His bat isn't as healthy. Hoiles went 0-for-2 yesterday and is batting .055.
The Orioles have the best team ERA (2.65) among American League teams this spring, but fewest hits (79). . . . Mike Mussina threw off a mound for 12 minutes yesterday and said he felt great. He may start Friday's game against Florida. . . . Kent Mercker will start one of the split-squad games against Montreal today.
Pitcher Billy Percibal has not thrown in five days, and Johnson said he will continue to rest Percibal's sore elbow, which under surgery in the off-season. . . . The Orioles offered pitcher Calvin Maduro for San Diego third baseman Melvin Nieves, but talks have broken off. . . . B. J. Surhoff received one stitch behind his left ear when a ground ball took a bad hop during infield practice. . . . Infielder Jeff Huson (sore hand) played yesterday for the first time in 10 days.
Pub Date: 3/13/96
Ups and downs
Highlights and lowlights from the Orioles' 3-0 loss to the Florida Marlins yesterday:
Armando Benitez struck out the side in the eighth inning, showcasing his new split-fingered fastball.
Orioles pitchers allowed just five hits and three runs, all of which were unearned.
Scott Erickson was the first starter to go five innings, allowing three hits and two unearned runs.
Baltimore mustered three hits and has the fewest hits among AL teams this spring.
Catcher Cesar Devarez promptly made two bad throws in his first inning of game action.
Baltimore committed three errors, including back-to-back misplays by Jeffrey Hammonds and Manny Alexander in the fourth inning, which led to two Marlins runs.