The Baltimore Orioles headed north Saturday, having accomplished virtually all the goals they set for themselves upon arriving in Florida six weeks ago.
The Orioles closed out the Grapefruit League portion of the exhibition season in relative good health and with a 17-9 record after their 4-0 loss to the Mets."The main thing you want to do here is to keep from getting hurt, and we did that," outfielder Joe Carter said. "You also want to establish a winning attitude and win the close games, and we did that, too."
Baltimore was 4-1 in one-run games and scored at least nine runs on seven occasions.
Center fielder Brady Anderson, who has a bone chip in his left hand, did not play Saturday and will likely sit out Sunday's exhibition finale against the Mets at Camden Yards. But he's expected to start Tuesday when the Orioles open the regular season against the Kansas City Royals.
"I'd say I'll play," he said, standing in the middle of the clubhouse with an ice pack wrapped to his hand. "I feel obligated to give you a story for opening day."
Last year, Anderson played in the opener with a cracked rib after refusing to go on the 15-day disabled list. This injury isn't nearly as serious.
"It's just a matter of soreness when he grips the bat. He can't do any more damage to it," Orioles trainer Richie Bancells said.
Ray Miller, in his first spring training as manager of the Orioles, was delighted with his team's progress.
"The efficiency rating has been very, very high for this camp. What we wanted to get done, we got done," he said.
The Orioles are a confident bunch as they make final preparations for the season opener. As catcher Chris Hoiles put it, "We did what we had to do down here, and on top of that we won some games."
METS 4, ORIOLES 0: At Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Al Leiter pitched five shutout innings and Tim Spehr homered as the Mets beat Baltimore.
RANGERS 14, CUBS 10: At Arlington, Texas, Juan Gonzalez and Mark McLemore homered as Texas tagged Cubs starter Terry Mulholland during an 11-run first inning.
INDIANS 4, BRAVES 3: At Atlanta, Brian Giles hit a two-out homer in the ninth inning and five Cleveland pitchers combined for a two-hitter and 16 strikeouts in a win at Atlanta.
ROCKIES 8, MARINERS 6: At Denver, Dante Bichette homered twice and drove in three runs as Colorado outslugged Seattle in a weekend series at Coors Field that will conclude spring training.
EXPOS 2, CARDINALS * 1: At Jupiter, Fla., Montreal starter Dustin Hermanson gave up a home run to Brent Butler on the first pitch, but the Expos allowed little else against a St. Louis split squad.
ASTROS 11, MARLINS 1: At Melbourne, Fla., Dave Clark hit a grand slam and drove in six runs, leading Houston over Florida.
PIRATES 3, REDS 1: At Bradenton, Fla., Jason Schmidt pitched out of a spring-long slump, allowing one run on two hits in six innings in Pittsburgh's victory over Cincinnati.
PHILLIES 7, BLUE JAYS 6: At Dunedin, Fla., Dave Francia, brought over from Philadelphia's minor league camp for the game, hit a two-run single in the eighth inning to beat Toronto.
TIGERS 8, ROYALS 4: At Lakeland, Fla., Tim Worrell improved to 5-0 this spring, pitching five innings in Detroit's win over Kansas City.
RED SOX 10, TWINS 5: At Fort Myers, Fla., Tim Wakefield pitched six scoreless innings and Jason Varitek hit a three-run homer, leading Boston past Minnesota.