You really can’t say enough about the pitching performances the Baltimore Orioles received in yesterday’s 7-3 win over Boston. Starter Bud Norris tossed three scoreless innings for the Birds, who defeated Boston for the first time in spring training. Norris’ line: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. We always have to throw in the fact that it’s spring training at this stage, however Norris looked incredibly crisp in his three innings of work. The only real concern so to speak from a pitching standpoint was Will Middlebrooks‘ solo homer off of Tommy Hunter which cut the lead to 3-1 at the time. Home runs are going to happen from time to time, however Hunter appears to be the anointed closer, and that’s not what you want to see out of him. However again, it’s spring training.
Nelson Cruz doubled to lead off the last of the second for the Orioles, and he was driven home
by an RBI-single to right field off the bat of Matt Wieters. Nick Markakis and J.J. Hardy would team up for back-to-back doubles in the last of the third to increase that lead to 2-0; Hardy would later come into score as well. The O’s added on a few runs and capped off the day offensively with Alex Gonzalez‘s two-run homer in the last of the sixth to drive the score to 7-1. Bryce Bentz would get two back for Boston in the seventh with a two-run homer off of Eduardo Rodriguez, however Oriole pitching held the BoSox at bay aside from that.
Darren O’Day pitched a scoreless inning with one strikeout, and Tim Berry pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth with two strikeouts. Perhaps some of the best parts of these games for the Orioles are that the reserve players are also contributing to the end results. One thing that I’m noticing about this year’s camp that wasn’t necessarily the case in the past is that the Orioles have lots or organizational depth. That’s a great thing to have, and this is a good time for the Birds to have it. With what the team has done on the free agent market, they’re poised to make some sort of run in a sense. So that organizational depth could serve them well in terms of being in a position of power at the bargaining table as the trade deadline approaches.
MASN’s Jim Hunter and hall of famer Jim Palmer illustrated this during yesterday’s game when they brought up how the Orioles aquired Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter. As you’ll remember, the O’s dealt reliever Koji Uehara to Texas in exchange for the first base and pitching prospects. Texas had a need for a reliever at the time, and the O’s needed a first baseman. Texas got someone that could help them immediately, and the O’s got some guys that they thought would help them in the future. Little did they know that Davis and Hunter would help them in the urgency of that moment as well, but it worked out for them. The O’s will take on Pittsburgh this afternoon at 1 PM in Sarasota.