The Orioles finally managed to win a meaningless spring training game. It only took them thirteen tries to do it.
Most of the A team started at home in an 8-1 win over today's incarnation of the Twins, which may not have a great resemblance to any regular season team the Twins may field.
They did not win without a cost, as Matt Wieters left the game early due to what the team announced as "right elbow soreness." Being as that is the same elbow on which Wieters had Tommy John surgery a couple of years ago, it's concerning any time pain is mentioned there. Wieters left the game after only half of an inning, after having made a high throw in attempting to throw out a Twins runner stealing a base.
After the game, manager Buck Showalter said that X-rays on Wieters' elbow were clean and that no MRI is scheduled. He told O's reporters he is hoping that it's routine spring soreness. Is that an actual concept? I guess we'll find out.
As for the game itself, starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez rebounded somewhat from allowing a first inning run. He pitched for 3.1 innings, giving up four hits and a walk. Not a great day, but it could have been worse. The Twins did not score again after Jimenez left the game.
The O's grabbed the lead by scoring three runs in the bottom of the first and they never looked back. Manny Machado had two hits. Mark Trumbo also had two hits and drove in two runs. Later in the game, Steve Tolleson and catcher Audry Perez each hit a two-run home run.
It's a good time to make an impression for Perez. With Wieters on the shelf for at least a little while, and with Caleb Joseph having missed time due to a particularly nasty case of the flu, there's an opening for other people to make an impression.
Following the game, the O's made their first wave of spring cuts. There are no surprises to be found with Chance Sisco, Jonah Heim, and Ashur Tolliver being reassigned to minor league camp. Sisco and Heim were around to catch early bullpen sessions and get a taste of big league camp. They aren't needed now, and even if Wieters' injury proves serious, young minor leaguers won't be his replacement this year.
Cesar Cabral and Andy Oliver, both lefty relievers, are also likely headed to minor league camp. That's not a surprise either.
There are still more than three weeks to go until Opening Day. It's time for the ailing to get healthy and it's time for the rusty to get themselves back up to playing speed. If they could win a few more meaningless games along the way, especially as the expected regular season players get an increasing share of the playing time, it would make us feel better about everything.