Orioles 4

(2-2, 2-0 away)

Dodgers 2

(1-4, 1-2 home)

    1:05 PM ET, March 6, 2005

    Holman Stadium, Vero Beach, Florida 

    R H E
    BAL - -
    LA - -

    Baltimore 4, Los Angeles 2

    VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Scott Erickson's comeback took another giant step forward.

    The Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander pitched three innings of no-hit ball in a 4-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

    Erickson boosted his bid to win the fifth spot in the Dodgers' starting rotation. His sinker was so effective the Orioles didn't hit the ball out of the infield. He has allowed one hit in five innings this spring.

    "He was pretty good his first time out, and I'd say you definitely saw yards of improvement today," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "All of his stuff was even better than the first time out."

    Erickson, 37, went 79-68 for the Baltimore Orioles from 1995-02, but he missed the entire 2001 and 2003 seasons with arm trouble. He returned to the majors last year and went 1-4 with a 6.67 ERA for the New York Mets and Texas Rangers.

    "It's a good sign, but I've always had a lot of confidence in myself," Erickson said. "I don't think they knew I was as healthy as I am. I think they figured I missed all last year with injuries, which wasn't the case."

    Even after all his injury problems, Erickson expressed confidence that he'd make the team as soon as he signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers in January.

    "It's not like I'm a kid out of A ball trying to open some eyes," Erickson said.

    He is competing with Edwin Jackson, Kazuhisa Ishii and Wilson Alvarez for the No. 5 role. Another spot in the rotation could open up if Brad Penny doesn't return from a nerve injury to his right biceps in time for the start of the season. The bullpen also is a possibility.

    Orioles starter Rodrigo Lopez also pitched three shutout innings, his first start of spring training.

    Walter Young broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning with a two-run single off Joel Hanrahan. The 6-foot-5, 305-pound first baseman had 33 homers and 98 RBI for the Orioles' Double-A affiliate in Bowie, Md., last season.

    Game notes

    After playing third base in his Dodgers debut, former Japanese Pacific League star Norihiro Nakamura moved to third base Sunday. He struck out in his only two at-bats. ... Dodgers pitcher Ryan Ketchner, who has only 10 percent of his hearing, met about 40 children from the St. Lucie Deaf Education Center before the game.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press