Baltimore Orioles fall to Toronto


Box scores can be very deceiving when it comes to wins and losses in baseball – especially in spring training. Yesterday’s indicates that Toronto defeated the Baltimore Orioles 5-2. However to look simply at the box score can often do no justice to the true ebb and flow of the game. First off, starter Miguel Gonzalez‘s numbers themselves are a bit skewed. Gonzalez’s line: 3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 1 K.

With one out and two on in the first inning, Justin Smoak hit a bounder up the middle. The ball was misplayed slightly by second baseman Evereth Cabrera, preventing a double play and allowing a run to score. Had the Orioles converted the double play there, the inning would have been over. Kevin Pillar would also add an RBI-single, and the O’s trailed 2-0. 

The Orioles would battle back in the seventh, starting the inning off with the bases loaded and nobody out. That brought Matt Wieters to the plate, staring an 0-for-19 slump in the face through the duration of spring training to this point. While Wieters didn’t deliver a base hit, he was able to get the Orioles on the board by grounding into a double play. That also sent Ryan Flaherty to third base; he would later score on Steve Pearce‘s RBI-single which cut the Toronto lead to 3-2. However Toronto would tack two more insurance runs on in the ninth on RBI-singles off of knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa, and the O’s fell 5-2 to Toronto.

Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Miguel Gonzalez looked very good in this outing; again, if not for that small mishap by Cabrera in the first inning, this is a very different game. However those are the small things that can often snowball in games. And it’s certainly better to get that type of stuff ironed out in spring training as opposed to having it occur in the regular season. It’s also fair to point out that Orioles bats have remained quiet through the first week’s plus worth of games. There were a lot of first pitch swings which turned into outs yesterday, something that will need to change once the Orioles break camp.

After three games in the home whites at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, the Orioles will hit the road for two games – one across the state in Jupiter tomorrow, and one against this same Toronto team in Dunedin tomorrow. The Orioles will start Bud Norris, and they’ll face St. Louis’ Jaime Garcia.

According to the Baltimore Sun, presumed opening day starter Chris Tillman will make his next start on Saturday, but not against Tampa. Tillman will pitch against the Puerto Rican Development Team, at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. According to Buck Showalter this is not a move being made to keep Tillman away from Tampa, the opponent on April 6th. However either way, Tillman won’t see action against Tampa this coming weekend. For what it’s worth, the Orioles’ lone off day in the spring is Monday, March 23rd. I would suspect that after that date we’ll start seeing the regular players in games for longer than three at-bats, and perhaps even many of them hitting the road. But there’s a good week-and-a-half’s worth of games to be played before then.