The Baltimore Orioles continued their trend of working their starters two innings and getting them out yesterday afternoon against Boston with Dylan Bundy. He put in his work, and then was out. Bundy’s line: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 earned), 0 BB, 2 K. The two runs came on a Benintendi two-run homer in the first inning. However Bundy settled down after that and got to work.
However the Orioles weren’t going to be outdone on this day in Sarasota against their AL East rivals. Adam Jones smacked a solo homer in the last of the first to cut the lead to 2-1. Welington Castillo added an RBI-double, and Chris Johnson a two-RBI double. Suddenly the Birds were in the lead at 4-2.
Boston would cut it to 4-3 in the third, however the O’s kept the pressure on. Gentry’s RBI single in the last of the third ran the tally to 5-3, and Adam Jones followed with a bases-clearing three-RBI single. That seemingly broke the game wide open, as the Orioles held an 8-3 lead. The “baby Birds” who did mop-up duty in the end of the game managed to tack on four more runs towards the end of the game as well, giving the O’s a 12-5 win over Boston.
You alway like to win, especially against a division rival such as Boston. However we all know that the scores and even the outcomes of these games are all but irrelevant. What was relevant however was the fact that Brad Brach made his 2017 debut in this game as well. Brach walked a batter and gave up two hits – but didn’t surrender a run. And that’s what these games are really for when it comes to veterans and regulars – getting the cobwebs shaken off.
One thing I noticed was that Adam Jones was lifted after the third. In essence, that was due to the fact that he had already had a moster game. This prompted manager Buck Showalter to proclaim after the game that Jones was ready for prime time already at this point (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
Adam played about seven innings today in three innings. He got three at-bats and ran all over the field. He’s ready to go.
Obviously that’s a good sign for the Orioles; the fact that their star center fielder is already set to go. Jones has quietly had a very strong start to spring training this year thus far. And that’s a good omen for the Orioles.
Today is a split squad day for the Birds, with the B-squad heading up to Tampa this evening to take on the Yankees. The regulars will stay back in Sarasota to welcome the Minnesota Twins to Ed Smith Stadium. Kevin Gausman will get the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s Phil Hughes. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.