The Orioles tallied another win in the Grapefruit League this afternoon, defeating a bunch of Red Sox scrubs and prospects by a score of 7-3. Bud Norris pitched well for three innings and utility player Alex Gonzalez launched a mammoth home run.
The biggest talk today regarding the Orioles wasn't about the team playing but rather pitcher Ervin Santana, who appears to have narrowed down his options to the Orioles or divisional rival Blue Jays. If Santana does end up with the O's, pitcher Bud Norris will likely end up in the bullpen or on the trade block. If that was on his mind as he took the mound in Sarasota, it didn't show. Norris pitched three strong innings and looked sharp on the mound, giving up two hits and zero walks with four strikeouts. In his postgame interview with Jims Palmer and Hunter, Norris said he's been working on his change up this spring and so far he's very happy with it.
Also pitching for the Orioles today were Tommy Hunter, Darren O'Day, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Tim Berry. Your probably closer, Hunter, pitched one inning and gave up a run on a homer to Will Middlebrooks. The only thing surprising about that is that Middlebrooks is a right-handed batter, and normally Mr. Goes Boom only gives up bombs to lefties. O'Day had a typical O'Day inning, and Tim Berry looked very good with two perfect innings to close out the game.
Things didn't go so well for top pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez, who pitched two innings. He had a good first inning other than a walk, but gave up two runs in his second on a two-run homer. The Red Sox got three hits in that inning, including two for extra bases.
On offense ,the Orioles regulars jumped on Red Sox prospect Henry Owens for three runs in 2 1/3 innings, then hung a four-spot in the sixth inning against relief pitcher Alex Wilson. Matt Wieters doubled in Nelson Cruz in the second inning for the first run, then in the third inning J.J. Hardy had an RBI double and Delmon Young drove in a run with a ground out.
In the sixth inning, Alex Gonzalez hit a home run that went all the way to the back row of the bleaches in left field. Wieters came in to score on the homer. Two batters later prospect Christian Walker tripled in Jonathan Schoop, and the final run scored on an error by the Red Sox.
All in all, another successful outing for the Birds. They're back in action tonight at 7:05 against the Red Sox again, but this time they'll be on the road and won't have as many regulars in the lineup.
- The Orioles had four walks on the day, one each by J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, Nelson Cruz, and Chris Davis. It may only be spring training, but it's always worth noting when Hardy and Jones show a little patience at the plate.
- Matt Wieters had a good day at the plate with a single and a double. His single came hitting righty, his double hitting lefty.
- Long lost Oriole, Stumblin' Jack Cust, made an appearance in today's game. He popped out on the second pitch.
- Jonathan Schoop turned a very sweet double play in the second inning. It was fun.