Cardinals 7, Orioles 3

BY foxsports • March 31, 2009

Hayden Penn needed a solid outing on Tuesday to avoid losing ground in the race to win a spot in the back end of the Baltimore Orioles' rotation. Instead, he was soon out of the game. Out of a spot, too. Penn gave up six runs and eight hits in 3 2-3 innings, including a three-run homer by Chris Duncan, and the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Orioles 7-3. The pressure was firmly on Penn after Alfredo Simon, another candidate for the rotation, held the New York Mets to one run over six innings Monday night. But Penn didn't rise to the occasion, and now he's no longer got a shot at opening the season as a starter. "Today would solidify that he wouldn't be in the rotation," manager Dave Trembley said. "The guy does not lack confidence. He competes, he works hard. It just hasn't happened at this level on a consistent basis for him." Trembley did not dismiss the idea of Penn pitching out of the bullpen, and said Simon has earned a spot in the rotation. Penn's downfall began when he hit the second batter he faced, Yadier Molina, and surrendered a two-out double to Ryan Ludwick. Penn retired the first two batters in the third before Rick Ankiel and Ludwick singled, and Duncan followed with his third home run, a shot into the right-field bleachers. Duncan had a disc replaced in his neck last August. "I felt this spring like I wanted to feel coming in. Numbers don't mean a lot to guys coming off good seasons, but for a guy in my situation, they do," Duncan said. Jason LaRue hit a solo homer in the fourth inning, and Molina later singled to score Brendan Ryan and end Penn's outing. It might also be the end of Penn's tenure with the Orioles. Once rated Baltimore's top pitching prospect, the 24-year-old righty is out of minor league options and would have to clear waivers before being optioned. "What can I say? I didn't get it done," he said. "But I made some pretty good pitches. They were just better than me today. That's the way it is. ... I've been saying all spring, it's either I get it done or I don't. I didn't today and I haven't all spring." Penn has allowed 19 earned runs and 27 hits in 17 innings. "For me to say I'm not disappointed, I'd be lying right to your face. I'm very disappointed," he said. "I thought I'd come out here and have a better showing, but it didn't happen for me. Next time I get the ball, I just have to correct it." Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright blanked the Orioles for the first three innings before Oscar Salazar led off the fourth with a long home run to left. The ball cleared the fence and rolled through the infield on one of the back fields. Wainwright gave up two runs and seven hits in five innings, with one walk and three strikeouts. Brad Thompson replaced Wainwright and allowed a run-scoring single to Guillermo Rodriguez in the sixth that reduced the Cardinals' lead to 6-3, but Joe Mather led off the eighth with a homer off Baltimore's Dennis Sarfate. Notes: The Orioles optioned RHP Radhames Liz and OF Luis Montanez to Triple-A Norfolk. The team also assigned OF Salazar, LHP Alberto Castillo, C Rodriguez and 3B Scott Moore to their minor league camp, although the four will remain with the Orioles through the remainder of the exhibition schedule.

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