Tyler Wilson and the Baltimore Orioles aren’t judging wins and losses in spring training – per se. However if you’re going to play these spring games, you might as well try to win them. And that’s exactly what the Orioles did in Lakeland, defeating Detroit 2-0.
Wilson was in and out of the game as the starter, but he set the Birds up nicely for the win. Wilson’s line: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Those are stellar numbers for anyone, much less the starter in the first Grapefruit League game. Again folks, this game doesn’t count, and as is generally the case it was largely scripted. But again, if you’re going to play these games you might as well win them.
As a staff throughout the entire game, the Orioles gave up four hits and one walk. Of note, Donnie Hart pitched a perfect seventh inning for the Birds. As you may recall, Hart became a favorite of manager Buck Showalter late last season during the stretch run. And he’s off to a decent start again this year.
Ryan Flaherty put the Orioles on the board with a sac fly-RBI in the second inning. In theory that’s all the Orioles would have needed. However Hyun-Soo Kim reached on a fielding error in the fifth, which allowed another Oriole run to score. And when your pitching is as good as that of the Orioles was yesterday, you’re as good as golden in that position.
Buck Showalter was complimentary of almost everyone after the game, however he really seemed impressed with Tyler Wilson (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
Tyler’s a reliable pitcher. He’s a guy who’s always ready. He’s in great shape. He’s always aggressive. Those strikes. He’s a guy you’re always reaching back for because he’s just reliable. He’s a guy you know what you’re going to get from him.
While this game didn’t count in the standings, it was a blueprint for how any team can win games: put a couple of runs on the board, and shut-down pitching. Some will point out that the second run was unearned. Well that can sometimes happen when guys get on base. So if you get on base, you’re putting yourself in a position to potentially score.
The Birds will hit the road again tomorrow, heading to Bradenton to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Gabriel Ynoa, for whom they recently traded, will get the start for the Orioles. He’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s Steven Brault. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.