Baltimore Orioles, Chris Davis break out


On the day before St. Patrick’s Day, the Baltimore Orioles busted out their shamrocks and put a bludgeoning on Philadelphia in Clearwater yesterday. Normally I wouldn’t use that term to describe a spring training game, however when you win to the tune of 16-4 there’s no other way to put it. Miguel Gonzalez became the second Oriole starter this spring to pitch four innings, and he was awarded with the win. Gonzalez’s line: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K.

Courtesy of Kim Klement USA Today

However perhaps the best news of the day was that Chris Davis busted out his bat in yesterday’s game, with a three-run homer in the first inning. Davis would come back to the plate an inning later and add an RBI-double, which followed another RBI-double by Jimmy Paredes – who would also add a three-run homer in the third. By the time Nolan Reimold added a two-run shot of his own in the fourth inning, the green beer was already starting to flow in Birdland. 

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Steve Pearce would add a two-run home run, and Dariel Alvarez a solo shot later in the game, among a couple of RBI-singles and sac fly RBI here and there. Let’s be clear; too much stock cannot be put in this game or in any other single game over the course of spring training. Having said that, we’ve reached the midpoint of Grapefruit League play, and as I’ve said previously this is when things normally start coming together for teams. Right around now is when the hitters will begin catching up to the pitchers, and lineups will start being set as we move towards the regular season.

But the fact that Davis had such a big day cannot be discounted. The Orioles are relying big time on Chris Davis this year to help replace some of the power that they lost when Nelson Cruz went to Seattle. So seeing him bop a three-run shot out of the park in his first at-bat was refreshing to see for Buck Showalter and the coaching staff. As I’ve been trying to remind people all winter, Cruz may have been the biggest but he wasn’t the team’s sole source of power last year.

The Orioles released veteran lefty Mark Hendrickson prior to yesterday’s game, and following the game they optioned pitchers Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey, along with first baseman Christian Walker to minor league camp. So at the midpoint of spring training, the Birds have 45 men on their roster.

The Orioles will hope that the luck of the Irish is with Bud Norris this afternoon, as he takes to the bump in the “annual” St. Patrick’s Day game. Norris and the Birds will take on the Minnesota Twins at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, and he’ll be opposed by Phil Hughes. The Orioles will wear a version of their “script O’s” hats, outlined in green for St. Patrick’s Day.

Incidentally if you’re like me and green isn’t a normal part of your clothing repetoire, the Orioles along with all other professional franchises put out a line of St. Patrick’s Day merchandise. Nothing says top o’ the mornin’ to ya like a green Adam Jones jersey t-shirt!

Next: Baltimore Orioles' bats anything but quiet in 16-4 win over Phillies