The Orioles' four-game winning streak game to an end on Sunday afternoon as they lost an 8-6 contest to the Cardinals. That's the bad news. The good news is that it doesn't count because it's spring training. There will not be very many regular season games that are sunk because Chaz Roe gives up four runs, three earned over a game's final two innings.
That's not to say everything else was perfect in the game for the O's. Uncharacteristically, Manny Machado committed two errors in the field. Jonathan Schoop also committed an error, as did J.P. Arencibia. That is a tough day at the office.
They were not the only ones who had problems. O's starter Bud Norris was also not at his best. Norris worked four innings and gave up three runs, two earned, on three hits. He struck out five, which is good, but also walked four batters and surrendered a home run to Matt Adams after getting to a 3-0 count. Norris now has a 9.26 spring ERA and the regular season is only 15 days away.
"I wanted to see a little bit better results today," Norris told O's reporters. "But (pitching coach Dave Wallace) came out shortly thereafter and said, 'You look fine mechanically, the competitive nature is going to come." We might as well believe that until the regular season proves differently.
With Matt Wieters now almost certain to be sidelined for at least the first few days of the season, the battle for third Orioles catcher is now a more interesting one. Someone will get to be Caleb Joseph's backup out of Steve Clevenger, Arencibia, and Ryan Lavarnway. Two of these three appeared in this game. The Cardinals stole three bases off of Clevenger, who also went hitless. Arencibia allowed a passed ball in addition to his throwing error.
There were good things in the game for the O's, like Machado at the plate. Machado hit his first home run of the spring in the first inning, giving the O's an early lead. He also had an RBI double later on, part of a 2-3 day in which he scored two runs and drove in two runs.
Adam Jones had a good day too, hitting two home runs as he drove in four runs. Jones' second home run of the day came in the fifth inning, a three-run shot that gave the Orioles a 6-4 lead that held until Roe appeared in the late innings.
Tyler Wilson came on to pitch after Norris was out of the game. He struck out three batters in two innings, but allowed a run on three hits and a walk. Rule 5 pick Jason Garcia was better, giving up one hit in the seventh as he struck out the side. Garcia has yet to allow a run in four spring outings.
Seven of the nine Orioles starting batters had hits in the game, with the lone exceptions being Clevenger and Travis Snider, the latter of whom served as the designated hitter today. No one, starter or reserve, took a walk. This is the Orioles we're talking about.
Next up for the O's is an off day tomorrow. The complex in Sarasota will not be open. Don't show up looking to watch a workout or anything. They're off and they won't be there. The next game will be at the spring home of the Pirates on Tuesday at the standard spring start time of 1:05, which will not be on TV or radio in the Baltimore area.