Making progress

After going three innings or fewer in each of his previous two starts, Jeremy Guthrie made it through the fourth yesterday. Better yet, he held the New York Mets to one run and three hits, didn't walk a batter and struck out four. He gave the Orioles quantity and quality. The only run off Guthrie came in the third when Jose Reyes tripled with two outs and scored on Fernando Martinez's single. Guthrie struck out David Wright and retired the side in order in the fourth to complete his day. Guthrie threw 44 of his 59 pitches for strikes.


Bullpen blues

The score was tied at 2 in the seventh after Orioles designated hitter Oscar Salazar singled to drive in Adam Jones, who doubled with one out. But Ryan Bukvich, the fourth pitcher used by the Orioles, surrendered a two-run homer to Angel Pagan in the bottom half of the inning that gave the Mets a lead they wouldn't surrender. Another reliever, Greg Aquino, had his own problems in the eighth. He allowed a run-scoring double to Nick Evans and an RBI single to former Orioles catcher Raul Casanova. On the plus side, Jim Johnson tossed a perfect sixth inning, striking out one.


Stop the presses

On the same day USA Today ran a story on players who have been suspended by Major League Baseball for violating its policy against using performance-enhancing drugs -- hardly a fresh topic -- one of the subjects scored the Orioles' first run. Jay Gibbons, starting in left field, doubled with two outs and scored on Aubrey Huff's single. Gibbons beat the throw from Mets center fielder Martinez, and catcher Robinson Cancel couldn't hold on to the ball as he tried to apply the tag. Gibbons will miss the first 15 days of the season.

On deck

Jon Leicester was listed as today's starter for the Orioles, but manager Dave Trembley said left-hander Garrett Olson will take the ball first against the Minnesota Twins at Fort Lauderdale Stadium. Leicester is expected to pitch, along with George Sherrill, Chad Bradford and Jamie Walker. The Twins will start right-hander Nick Blackburn.