Spring Training or not, it's always nice to beat the New York Yankees. The Orioles cruised to their third straight win in the Grapefruit League, topping the Yankees' B squad 5-1. The pitching looked less wild than in the last two games, and Brian Roberts looked like the B-Rob of old as he lead the offense.
After a scoreless half-inning to start the game from Brian Matusz (thanks to a little help from a double play and a generous umpire), the O's got on the board right away in the bottom of the 1st. Roberts doubled to left field and then bamboozled the Yankees starting pitcher into a balk that moved him over to third base. Certain sticks in the mud might point out that the Yankees pitcher wasn't exactly Justin Verlander, as Vidal Nuno was drafted in the 48th round of the 2009 draft and hasn't pitched about AA. But whatever, it's spring and Brian Roberts is doing stuff! He came in to score on a double from Adam Jones.
The O's spark plug was at it again as Roberts doubled in the third inning (this time off of Brian Mitchell, whose highest professional experience is in the Sally League) and came around to score another run when Nick Markakis singled to left field. The O's added two more in the fourth inning on a Nate McLouth double and their final run in the sixth inning when Trayvon Robinson singled, stole second base, and scored on a hit by Russ Canzler. Robinson is definitely an early contender for the Jake Fox Spring Training Hitting Award.
Over on the pitching side of things, Brian Matusz made the start and went two innings. After getting into trouble in the first inning thanks to two singles, Matusz worked a perfect second. He was followed by Tommy Hunter, Pedro Strop, Mark Hendrickson, Mike Wright, Zach Clark, and Adam Russell, with Russell blowing the shutout in the top of the ninth inning.
The only perfect performance of the day came from Clark, and another highlight was Wright, who pitched two innings and gave up just a single after retiring the first five batters he saw.
The Orioles remain undefeated in Spring Training play, and tomorrow will face the Pittsburgh Pirates in a game that will only be available on Game Day Audio.