Rare gopher ball
Orioles reliever Chad Bradford isn't known for surrendering home runs. The submarine stylist has allowed one in each of the past three seasons, so it's unusual to see anyone take him deep, even in an exhibition game, but it happened yesterday. After replacing starter Jeremy Guthrie in the fifth inning and letting two inherited runners score on a Troy Glaus single, Bradford served up a two-run shot to Ryan Ludwick that broke a 4-4 tie. Bradford hadn't allowed a homer in seven innings this spring. Hank Blalock was the only player to take him deep last season, on Sept. 22 in Texas, and it was the first homer off Bradford since May 14, 2006, a span of 127 games.
Chris Roberson wasn't in the original lineup yesterday, but opportunity often knocks when you least expect it. Jay Gibbons stayed back in Fort Lauderdale because of a stiff back, making Roberson the starting left fielder against the Cardinals. Given a rare start, Roberson went 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. He also threw out Chris Duncan trying to stretch a single into a double. Trying to squeeze onto the 25-man roster as an outfielder, Roberson is batting .321.
Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa again made the unconventional decision to bat his pitcher eighth, in this instance right-hander Adam Wainwright. Orioles manager Dave Trembley might want to do the same whenever Guthrie starts. With no designated hitter used in the game, Guthrie took advantage of a rare opportunity to swing the lumber by going 2-for-2. He reached on a bunt in the second inning, pushing the ball past the mound on the right side, and looped a single into right in the fourth. He was erased twice on double-play grounders by Brian Roberts.
Daniel Cabrera makes another start for the Orioles today against the Florida Marlins, and he's a tough act to follow. In his most recent appearance, Cabrera faced the minimum number of Washington Nationals batters through five innings before tiring in the sixth. He allowed two hits up to that point, and both runners were erased on double plays. His pitch count stood at 42. Garrett Guzman hit a two-run homer off Cabrera in the sixth and he left with one out. Left-hander Mark Henderickson will start for the Marlins.