Near no-no

The Florida Marlins didn't get a hit yesterday until Cody Ross lined an opposite-field single to right against Paul Shuey with two outs in the seventh, as the Orioles posted a 3-0 victory in their exhibition home opener. Rob Bell duplicated starter Erik Bedard by retiring all six batters he faced. Scott Williamson escaped a jam in the fifth after an error and a walk. Chris Ray retired the Marlins in the sixth, preventing them from getting a ball out of the infield.


Rule change

Only in spring training can the home team bat in the bottom of the ninth inning with a three-run lead. It happened yesterday because the Marlins wanted to give reliever Eddy Rodriguez, a former Oriole, some work after having him warm up on the side. Jeff Fiorentino took advantage of the opportunity by lining a single off Rodriguez, but the half-inning is not in the box score.


Distracted pitcher

Bedard didn't get a chance to fully appreciate the Marlins' starter, fellow left-hander Dontrelle Willis, while sitting in the dugout between innings. That's because he chose the wrong seat on the bench. "I wasn't paying attention," Bedard said. "[Kevin] Millar was beside me, so ..."

On deck

The Orioles make their second road trip in three days with a stop in Viera to play the Washington Nationals. Daniel Cabrera opposes John Patterson, who's projected as the Nationals' Opening Day starter. Scheduled to follow Cabrera are Steve Green, Jon Leicester, Francis Beltran and Victor Moreno.