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McDonald solid in spring debut

Ben McDonald felt as good as he looked on the mound Monday against Philadelphia. "You go through phases of dead arm during spring, and I had it when I got down here because I've been throwing so much," McDonald said. "Surprisingly I felt very, very good. It's the best I've felt all spring by far." McDonald was scheduled to go only two innings in his first spring outing but instead went three because his pitch count was low. He allowed only Dave Hollins' leadoff single in the second, striking out the next three batters. "I had a live fastball, got my curveball over, and used my change-up and forkball," he said. "I was pretty pleased with my control, although the umpire's high strike zone probably helped me out a little." The Orioles pummeled the Phillies with 15 hits in an 11-5 win, their first victory of the spring. Leftfielder Jeffrey Hammonds had RBI triples in the first and second innings. Left-hander Brad Pennington, who struggled through the second half of the 1993 season, finished up with his second scoreless outing. He gave up one hit in the final 2 innings. Outfielder Mike Devereaux, who cut his forehead and upper lip last Friday when he ran into a chain-link fence at Dunedin, is available to play, though manager Johnny Oates has held him out of the past three games. Devereaux did not travel to Clearwater. Infielder Manny Alexander signed on Sunday, leaving only pitchers Mike Mussina and Arthur Rhodes unsigned. Alan Mills will start for the Orioles today at home against Toronto's Juan Guzman. _ JULIE GOODRICH

Royer's HR paces Cards

ST. PETERSBURG _ Stan Royer, the Cardinals' backup third baseman, got the team's first home run of the spring season Monday with a blast over the 388-foot mark in left. Royer, who hit 16 homers in 98 games at Louisville in the American Association last season, is now 5-for-10, taking advantage of the absence of Todd Zeile, who was out with a stomach ailment until Monday.Bob Tewksbury's pitching debut after treatment for an injured shoulder during the winter was not as successful as hoped. The Cardinals' ace was racked for six runs, five hits and two walks in the first inning, and gave up two more runs in the second before being relieved. John Mabry, a rookie outfielder, has been making a good impression, leading the team in batting with a 4-for-7 effort, including 2-for-4 and two RBI Monday. He hit .290 last year with Arkansas in the Class AA Texas League. Brian Jordan sat out Monday's game with a groin pull while an MRI test for pitcher Paul Kilgus showed an inflammation of the rotator cuff. He is day-to-day. Rheal Cormier will start today against Pittsburgh at Bradenton. _ JACK HOUGHTELING

Kruk out two weeks

CLEARWATER _ First baseman John Kruk will miss at least the next two weeks of spring training with a groin injury, team physician Phillip Marone said. Kruk flew back to Philadelphia Monday night and will be examined this morning. The injury occurred last season when Kruk was hit by a throw by former Phils reliever Mitch Williams on a pickoff attempt. The ball skipped off the wet infield grass and hit Kruk in the groin. Kruk waited a month before going to Marone. "I tried to ignore it and hoped it would go away," he said. Kruk was treated for inflammation in his groin in late August, but the condition has worsened since spring training drills began, and Kruk left Sunday's game against Toronto after one at-bat. "The more I got down here and started running a lot, it got worse and worse," Kruk said. The Phillies saved face Monday with a five-run seventh but suffered their first defeat of the spring, an 11-5 loss to Baltimore. Mickey Morandini drove in three runs with a home run off the signs above the rightfield wall. Starter Ben Rivera was tagged for six runs in three innings. Manager Jim Fregosi seemed unconcerned. "Power pitchers just take a little bit longer to get ready," he said. The Phillies host Cincinnati today. Curt Schilling makes his second start of the spring against the Reds' Erik Hanson. _ JULIE GOODRICH

Rijo ready for big year

PLANT CITY _ Jose Rijo, who pitched two perfect innings in Cincinnati's victory Sunday over Pittsburgh, said he expects to win close to 20 games this year if he pitches like he did last season. Rijo was 14-9 last year with a 2.48 ERA and led the National League in strikeouts with 227. "I can't work any harder than I am right now," Rijo said. "I can't work any harder than I did last year. I'm maxing out." Lenny Harris' RBI single in the fourth inning accounted for the Reds' only run in a 3-1 loss Monday night to the Cleveland Indians in Winter Haven. In the fifth inning, Kevin Wickander gave up a walk, a hit batter and a two-run double to Albert Belle. _ AP

1 loss, 1 win

DUNEDIN _ The White Sox scored four unearned runs in the 10th inning to beat the Blue Jays 7-4 in a split-squad game. Two consecutive errors by rookie shortstop Alex Gonzalez, Joe Hall's run-scoring single and Brandon Wilson's three-run homer broke a 3-all tie. Starter Al Leiter gave up two hits in three innings and Scott Brow followed with two perfect innings. Howard Battle and Gonzalez homered and Darnell Coles had a pair of doubles. Battle also singled twice. Catcher Pat Borders made his first spring appearance coming off a sore arm. Juan Guzman starts today against the Orioles. A hit by pitcher Todd Stottlemyre keyed the Jays' split-squad win over St. Louis at Al Lang Stadium. Stottlemyre had a bases-loaded double in the first. He also worked a perfect three innings on the mound. Ed Sprague, 0-for-6 going into the game, tripled for his first spring hit. _ JACK HOUGHTELING, PHIL GULICK