Orioles right-hander Rocky Cherry, who is trying to make the team's opening day bullpen, got himself in a serious jam yesterday. With the game tied at two in the bottom of the ninth inning and the rain starting to fall harder at Roger Dean Stadium, Cherry loaded the bases with no outs. He dodged the first bullet by striking out outfielder Colby Rasmus, who is considered one of the game's best prospects. He retired Ryan Ludwick on a soft liner to second base for the second out and then got out of the inning unscathed when D'Angelo Jimenez lined out to right fielder Chris Roberson. Bob McCrory pitched a scoreless 10th inning and the game was ruled a tie.
What a relief
The best work this spring has been turned in by the Orioles' relievers, who continue to put up zeroes. Roberto Novoa took the ball from Daniel Cabrera in the fourth inning and allowed the tying run to score, but the next five Orioles all recorded scoreless frames. That included Dennis Sarfate, Lance Cormier, Radhames Liz, Cherry and McCrory. Neither Sarfate nor Liz have surrendered an earned run this spring. Meanwhile, Cormier has made quite a comeback after getting shelled in his first two spring starts. He has strung together three straight scoreless outings.
Running to the mound after the top of the third inning, Orioles starter Cabrera appeared to trip over his own feet and tumbled to the ground. Several of his teammates, including first baseman Kevin Millar, enjoyed the moment but only after the 6-foot-9, 270-pound pitcher got up and showed that he wasn't injured.
The Orioles head to Port St. Lucie today to face the New York Mets for the second time this spring. Orioles right-hander Jeremy Guthrie will start. Relievers Jamie Walker and Greg Aquino are also both expected to pitch in the game.