Behind a solid effort by starter Mike Wright, the Baltimore Orioles avenged an earlier spring training loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. Okay, perhaps that’s a bit overly melodramatic. It might even be overly melodramatic to say that the O’s defeated Philadelphia in front of a sun-splashed crowd on a chamber of commerce day in Sarasota. These games don’t count – remember?!
But the Orioles do have a few things about which to get excited in this game, starting with their starter. Wright’s line: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K. The lone run Wright surrendered was on a Coghlan RBI-single, which scored Alther – who had reached on a HBP. Ironically, Alther didn’t react like he thought the pitch hit him, but the umpire gave him first base. Nevertheless, Wright pitched out of it, indicating that mentally he might be in a better position that he was in the past.
The Orioles evened the game on a Castillo RBI-double in the last of the fourth. It was wind-aided for sure, although not how one might think. The wind turned it into a lazy pop fly to left, and the fielder dove and had the ball pop up and smack him in the fact. it was ruled a double, and the game was tied.
Philadelphia would re-take the lead in the sixth on a Rupp homer, however Janish’s sac fly-RBI in the last of the seventh tied it again (at two). Later in the inning, Schafer’s comebacker was knocked down in the infield, with the bases loaded. That forced in what ended up being the winning run, and the O’s had themselves a 3-2 victory in spring training.
Again folks, the wins and losses aren’t important here. What is important is the fact that Wright looked good. Also noteworthy were the performances of Darren O’Day and Donnie Hart. O’Day struck out two, and Hart one. Neither surrendered a hit, walk, or run. We know O’Day will be on the final roster, however as I’ve written before Showalter really liked using Donnie Hart late in the season last year. He showed a lot of value to the team, and Showalter seemed to trust him coming out of the bullpen in later innings.
The Orioles will look a lot different after today, as the likes of Machado, Jones, Givens, Nuno, and Castillo will depart to play for their respective countries in the WBC. This means opportunity for quite a few younger players, who will replace these guys in games. However it also means that the games after they return become all that more important for team-building.
The Orioles will head to Lakeland tomorrow to take on the Detroit Tigers. Dylan Bundy will get the start for the Orioles, however Detroit has not yet named a starter. game time is set for just after 1 PM.