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Anderson pitches eight innings of four-hit ball

4/3/2003

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Brian Anderson outdid his former teammate, and
in the process showed why spring training statistics are virtually
meaningless.

Anderson marked his return to the Indians by pitching eight
innings of four-hit ball, and Matt Lawton hit a three-run homer as
Cleveland beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-0 Thursday night.

The game drew a crowd of 18,470 -- the lowest attendance in the
12-year history of Camden Yards. The previous low was 20,279, set
last September against Toronto.

Anderson (1-0) went 1-2 with a 10.47 ERA in five spring training
starts. But when it really counted, the left-hander allowed only
one runner past second base.

"He's been making steady progress in terms of each and every
outing going out there and getting better, being a little bit more
crisp," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "Obviously, today it
really showed."

Making his first appearance for the Indians since the Game 7 of
the 1997 World Series, Anderson threw 99 pitches -- 66 for strikes.

"I'll take that out of the gate. It was a pretty emotional
night," he said. "It's the first start of the year, and then I'm
going up against my best friend in the game."

In a matchup of pitchers that played with the Arizona
Diamondbacks last year, Anderson outperformed Rick Helling, who
took a one-hitter into the sixth inning before faltering.

After Milton Bradley drew a one-out walk and Omar Vizquel
reached on a bunt, Lawton drove the first pitch far over the
right-field wall -- his first hit of the season after an 0-for-7
start.

"I was saying right before I went to bat that I hadn't had a
good pitch to hit all night,'' Lawton said. "I told myself to be
ready, and I finally got a good pitch."

That's was enough offense for Anderson (1-0), who struck out two
and walked one. Last year, he lost his first five decisions before
earning his initial victory on June 5 in relief.

Danys Baez pitched a perfect ninth for his second save.
Helling (0-1) gave up three hits and three walks over six
innings in his debut with the Orioles.

"I got outpitched tonight," Helling said. "B.A. threw an
awesome game. It looked like the first guy to make a mistake, that
might be the game. It turned out to be me."

The right-hander retired the first nine batters before Bradley
singled to open the fourth. Helling picked Bradley off first, then
worked out of a jam in the fifth by striking out Josh Bard with two
outs and runners on the corners.

But he couldn't escape damage in the sixth.

"Rick just had that one bad inning, threw one bad pitch to
Lawton that cost him the game," Orioles manager Mike Hargrove
said. "It's a shame to waste an effort like that."

Game notes
Baltimore OF Marty Cordova received a cortisone shot in his
lower back and missed a second straight game. LF B.J. Surhoff, off
to an 0-for-9 start, was also rested. ... Indians OF Karim Garcia
has been troubled by a sore left wrist, but was in the starting
lineup and went 0-for-3 with a walk. ... Orioles 1B/DH David Segui
will test his healing right thumb in a rehab assignment with
Class-A Frederick on Friday night. If all goes well, he will come
off the DL Saturday.

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