Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Schoop leads Baltimore Orioles to victory


The Baltimore Orioles defeated New York 2-1 yesterday in what would have probably been called a pitcher’s due, had the game been played during the regular season. But before we crown the Birds as a force in the AL East, let’s recognize the fact that the majority of NY’s regular players were in Panama playing exhibition games in honor of Mariano Rivera. The only New York players with whom anyone was familiar was Ichiro Suzuki, and…get this, Brian Roberts. However again, the most important part of any of these games is how they unfold – as opposed to the final score

Chris Tillman had what I would term his best outing of the spring thus far. Tillman’s line: 5.0

IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K. I say it’s the best one because Tillman had posted a couple of laissez-faire outings in a row, and he really rebounded yesterday afternoon. Tillman used a heavy dose of fastballs to mow New York hitters down, but Francisco Arcia‘s solo homer on a fastball in the top of the sixth gave New York a 1-0 lead. However the fact that Tillman stayed in the game into the sixth inning is impressive in and of itself. He was lifted as soon as he gave up the homer, however that shouldn’t take away from the effort he put forth and the quality outing he turned in. Zach Britton came in to relieve Tillman, and he posted a 97 MPH fastball for a strike on the gun.

In the last of the sixth Chris Davis sent a two-out shot to center and suddenly the game was tied at one. An inning later in the last of the seventh, Delmon Young sent a tight grounder over the bag and down the line at third, which put him at second base. The Orioles pinch ran Jermile Weeks, who promptly attempted to steal third with Jonathan Schoop at the plate. Weeks had a decent jump as it was, but Schoop made a very smart play in offering up a bunt before hastily pulling the bat back. That movement distracted NY’s catcher just enough to where he didn’t have time to throw. Weeks took third base, and he would later score on Schoop’s sac fly.

Yesterday was also the debut of Suk-min Yoon, who gave up on hit on 11 pitches. Yoon was followed to the mound by Darren O’Day, who pitched himself into a jam by allowing two runners to get into scoring position with nobody down. However O’Day pitched out of the jam without allowing a run, and the Orioles completed their 2-1 victory over NY, the teams’ final meeting in Grapefruit League play. On a side note, Matt Wieters sat out yesterday’s game with a sore ankle, and Adam Jones is expected to return to the team today or tomorrow following the birth of his son earlier this past week. The Orioles will travel to Dunedin, FL this afternoon at 1 PM to take on the Toronto Blue Jays. Miguel Gonzalez will get the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Todd Redmon of Toronto.

Birds Watcher Radio Show: I also want to remind fans that at 10 AM today via www.blogtalkradio.com. You can get the link directly on our facebook or twitter pages. I’ll cover a wide range of topics, including yesterday’s game, and perhaps some of the articles that have appeared on Birds Watcher this past week. I was a DJ in college, and while I was pretty good at it my radio career obviously didn’t amount to much. So I’m marketing this as my “return to radio” in a sense! Nevertheless, fans can tune in at 10 AM today by clicking here.

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