Ponson declares himself ready after 4-inning stint in Bowie


BOWIE -- Orioles right-hander Sidney Ponson pronounced himself fit and ready last night after pitching four scoreless innings for the Bowie Baysox in a Double-A Eastern League game against the Akron Aeros at Prince George's Stadium.

"I felt pretty good," said Ponson, who has been on the major-league disabled list since April 17 with elbow tendinitis. "They sent me down here to face some hitters, and hopefully my next start will be for the Orioles."

Ponson allowed three hits, all singles, in the Baysox's 5-3 win over the Aeros before a crowd of 8,979 spectators.

Two of the hits were of the scratch variety, a second-inning hopper by Jon Hamilton that eluded the infield and a fourth-inning liner by Scott Krause that Bowie right fielder Larry Bigbie nearly caught after a long run. The third hit was a bunt by Jim Goelz that Joey Hammond failed to pick up.

"Those kinds of hits are part of baseball," Ponson said. "A ground ball through the hole, another that was almost caught. These guys can hit major-league pitchers."

Ponson threw mainly fastballs, but mixed in all his pitches during a stint he called "the common-sense thing to do [throw to live hitters]. I felt some twinge a little bit here and there in Florida [spring training], but it got worse and worse after the season started."

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