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Split the squad, split the games

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Well, the good news: Sammy homered and scored twice in a 5-3 win over the Cardinals in Fort Lauderdale. Even Midre Cummings got into the act with an RBI double. Erik Bedard was sharp with 4 2/3 scoreless innings, four hits and two walks with six strikeouts. Not bad at all.

Tony Saunders made his first appearance in a game since 2000 and gave up two runs on three hits working the seventh inning. I know it's cute that Saunders is on the ship for the moment and all, and I honestly wish him all the best, but the response to this is clearly, "Well, duh."

More good news: Rick Bauer made his first start of the spring and pitched four shutout innings against the Nationals.

Now the bad news. After Bauer left, all hell broke loose. John Maine and Tony Fiore got hammered - well, sort of. I'm reading the following sentence and failing to wrap my mind around it fully:

Fiore issued three consecutive walks with the bases loaded.

Excuse me?

Let's just move on.

Maine got the loss, with the Nats scoring nine runs in the fifth inning. Huge innings are becoming a standard for Orioles spring training outings. They added two more in the eighth off of Aaron Rakers to win 11-4.

The bad sort of ruined the good, because that's some serious bad. Notice Sammy stayed at home instead of going over to face the Nationals after getting booted from the last game between the teams.

Baltimore is now 0-2 in the history of the heated Orioles/Nationals rivalry that has taken over the very fabric of this great nation of ours, or at least the fabric of Peter Angelos' shirt.