Baltimore Orioles fall to Detroit in Sarasota


Admittedly I’m a bit surprised that the Baltimore Orioles fell in their spring training home opener at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota yesterday. The O’s were shut out until the last of the eighth, however it wasn’t a total loss for the team. Kevin Gausman got the start and while he only pitched one inning he was solid. Gausman’s line: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. It was fairly obvious that the Birds are trying to conserve Gausman’s innings in spring training, so as to keep him spry for the regular season. But the record shows that for the short time he was in the game, Gausman was strong.

T.J. McFarland pitched two scoreless innings, and Dylan Bundy one. Detroit took a 1-0 lead on Dixon Machado‘s single in the fourth, which was misplayed by Delmon Young. Nick Castellanos followed later in the inning with a two-run homer, and the O’s trailed 3-0. Detroit loaded the bases in the sixth with nobody out, however Jason Krizan grounded into a double-play, which scored a run. The aforementioned Machado would score from first base on a Steven Moya RBI-single in the seventh.

Dariel Alvarez would add an RBI-single for the homestanding O’s in the last of the eighth. Nolan Reimold would follow with a two-RBI single and Jayson Nix would add a solo homer in the last of the ninth to cut the lead to 5-4, however the early Detroit runs were too much for the Orioles to overcome. The loss drops the O’s to 0-2 on the spring, for those who are interested in keeping track of wins and losses.

There were two very bright spots for the Orioles in this game, however. The first was the fact that the pitchers who really

Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

needed to pitch well, did so. Gausman, McFarland, and Bundy all looked good. McFarland even struck out three during his time in the game; and throw Wesley Wright in there as well for good measure. The second bright spot was Nolan Reimold. His history is well-known to Orioles fans, and his potential is unabashed (which is why the O’s keep giving him chances). His two-RBI single in the eighth made a huge difference, and it gave the Orioles something to think about.

Many fans are going to point to the bats of the regulars yesterday and wonder what’s going on. The likes of Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, et al seemed to struggle at the plate yesterday against Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez (and subsequent Detroit pitchers). However again, these games are designed for hitters to get their timing back – especially the early spring games. Adam Jones had a sequence where he fouled off a few pitches in an at-bat; if you play that same sequence back in the regular season or even later in the spring, many of those fouls would straighten out and be in play.

Tomorrow the Orioles will have their first split squad day of the spring, with the “B team” heading to Port Charlotte to take on the Tampa Rays. Wei-Yin Chen will be matched up against Tampa’s Nathan Karns. The nightcap and in effect the “main event” will be the O’s taking on the Toronto Blue Jays at 7 PM, in a game that will be shown on MASN. Miguel Gonzalez will get the start for the O’s, against Daniel Norris of Toronto.