The Atlanta Braves overcame Cal Ripken's two-run, bases-loaded single that put them behind in the third inning at West Palm Beach, Fla., and beat the Baltimore Orioles yesterday, 5-2.
Pascual Perez, Terry Forster and Steve Bedrosian limited Baltimore to six hits. Perez went seven innings, and Braves Manager Joe Torre declared that after Phil Niekro pitches the opener at Cincinnati April 4, Perez will follow on April 6 . . .
Ex-Braves reliever Al Hrabosky, meanwhile, was cut by the Chicago White Sox but offered a contract with their AAA Denver affiliate. He'll try to hook on elsewhere in the majors first . . . Milwaukee reliever Rollie Fingers, in his gradual recovery from arm trouble, went on the disabled list until at least April 15.
In Yuma, Ariz., Tal Smith, the former executive for the Yankees and Astros now a consultant representing clubs in salary arbitrations, was asked about reports he is a candidate to succeed Bowie Kuhn as commissioner and replied: "I have no interest in the job, I don't seek it and I do not consider myself a candidate."
In exhibition highlights:
Doyle Alexander pitched six scoreless innings and Oscar Gamble homered a second time in two Superdome games as the New York Yankees defeated Toronto in New Orleans, 2-1. Alexander, 1-7 last year and out part of the season with a broken hand, gave up two hits, struck out six and walked none . . .
California won its seventh straight as Bobby Clark's two-run, two-out single in the ninth beat Oakland, 4-3 . . . Bill Stein hit a two-run homer with two out in the ninth to give Texas a victory over Kansas City, 3-2 . . . Bill Gullickson and Ray Burris combined for a six-hitter and Andre Dawson homered as Montreal defeated Los Angeles, 3-0. The Dodgers, meanwhile, made the earliest announcement yet of their opening-day pitcher, and it was no surprise: Fernando Valenzuela, despite an 8.50 ERA this spring.