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Bauer comes up short as Sosa goes long


Sammy Sosa homered in his first exhibition game with the Orioles, but the Florida Marlins scored twice off reliever Rick Bauer in the sixth inning and took a 3-1 victory.

Left-hander Erik Bedard blanked the Marlins on one hit over three innings, but Bauer allowed two runs and six hits in three innings. Dave Borkowski gave up a run in the eighth.

Mike Lowell's single off Bauer broke a scoreless tie in the sixth.

The Orioles put the tying runs on base with two outs in the ninth before Walter Young flied to right.

Who's hot

Sammy Sosa: A sore groin muscle becomes less of a problem when you're trotting around the bases.

Erik Bedard: He put hitters away quickly, reducing his pitch count and speeding up the tempo of the game. A novel approach.

Jay Gibbons: He's pulling the ball, a sign that his hip and back no longer restrict him. But what's he doing batting second?

Who's not

Rick Bauer: Lots and lots of singles. That's only good if you're hanging at the bar.

Rafael Palmeiro: Takes an 0-for-3 and is reminded again of Canseco's book. Wants so badly to turn the page.

Injury report

Rehabbing a strained right forearm, reliever Jorge Julio threw on flat ground from 120 feet as part of yesterday's workout - the longest distance he's covered since the injury flared up in camp. Julio, who threw twice from 90 feet, said he'll be ready for Opening Day. "I'm fine right now," he said. "I'm ready to go." Julio still must receive clearance from the training staff to throw from a mound.

Utility infielder watch

OK, it's not as exciting as watching Sosa, but the Orioles must choose a replacement for Luis Lopez. Enrique Wilson and Chris Stynes singled in their only at-bats to keep a rally alive in the ninth. Chris Gomez went 0-for-1 after two hits in the opener. So far, Gomez still has the edge because he's on the 40-man roster.

Orioles today

Opponent: Washington Nationals

Site: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Time: 1:05

TV/Radio: Comcast SportsNet/1090 AM (7:05; tape)

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