In their third game of the Grapefruit League, the Orioles started with Chris Tillman on the mound. It's a big spring for Tillman, as we all know, and he was definitely shaky in his first outing. Like Brad Bergesen and Jeremy Guthrie before him, Tillman got through two innings. Unlike them, he had trouble with his control. He gave up one run on three hits and a walk.
Tillman was followed by Zach Britton making his first ever spring start. After the game, Britton told that press that he was "nervous as hell" and it showed. After allowing Placido Polanco to reach on a single to start the third, he threw a wild pitch allowing the runner to move to second. He buckled down after that, getting two ground outs sandwiched around a strikeout of Ryan Howard. Shane Victorino started the fourth inning with a bunt single, but Britton retired the next three batters.
Mark Worrell, Mike Gonzalez, and Jim Johnson followed Britton with a scoreless inning each, and JJ struck out two of the batters he faced. Pedro Viola pitched the 8th inning and if you know anything about Orioles baseball, you know that the fact this man still has a place on the forty-man roster is a mystery. He proved that once again by walking the first batter he saw, wild pitching him to second, and then allowing him to score on a Delwyn Young single. Seriously, I know it's just ST, but for the love of God haven't we seen enough of this guy? He did induce a double play to end the inning, so give him credit for that if you must.
The O's offense continued its onslaught by scoring six runs against the Phillies. They were led by bust of the century Matt Wieters, who had three hits and two RBI (a third run scored with him at the plate but due to fielder interference no RBI was listed). Brendan Harris continued in his quest to make the O's bench with two doubles, one of the RBI variety. Fellow bubble player Jake Fox also had two hits and scored a run, and Felix Pie contributed an RBI double to his cause.
Someone I've never heard of named Nick Bierbrodt (Beer brat? Yum) gave up back-to-back HR in the bottom of the 9th, so they had to bring in Chris Jakubauskas. I was worried he and Justin Duchscherer might both make the team, which would make it impossible for me to write post games in a timely manner, but he immediately threw a wild pitch which allowed the fifth run to score, and then walked a dude. So I'm not worried about that anymore. Ultimately he prevailed, though, and the Orioles remain undefeated in spring 2011.
See you tomorrow for the O's vs the Twins where I assume Brian Matusz will make his spring debut.