The back nine
A bad day turned much worse for the Orioles in the seventh inning, when the Minnesota Twins scored nine runs to increase their lead to 16-1. Reliever Chad Bradford, who surrendered two home runs the previous two seasons, served up a two-run shot to Garrett Jones that initially was ruled a double before umpires correctly changed the call. That might have been the highlight for Bradford, who hit three batters in the inning before Danys Baez replaced him in a 16-2 loss. Bradford was charged with seven runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning. The game was stopped in the eighth because of rain.
Former Oriole Sidney Ponson relayed word through a team spokesman yesterday that he wouldn't talk to the Baltimore media. His pitching spoke for itself. Ponson, who looks much slimmer than in previous years, allowed one unearned run and three hits in four innings. Ponson had bone chips removed from his right elbow last fall that were causing him to lower his arm slot.
Many of the Orioles were unhappy with the condition of the Fort Lauderdale Stadium infield, which was harder than usual after the grounds crew left the tarp on it overnight. It seemed to bake in the morning heat, and players had difficulty getting a handle on balls that sped past them. On one play, Melvin Mora tried to make a backhand stop and couldn't prevent a run from scoring.
The Orioles have split-squad games today. They're home against the New York Mets, with Erik Bedard facing Aaron Sele. They're also in Jupiter to play the Florida Marlins again, with Hayden Penn opposing Dontrelle Willis.