The Baltimore Orioles are finished with exhibition games, and they ended on mixed notes.
After the rain shortened the last game of summer training, the Baltimore Orioles look partially ready for their Opening Day game against the Boston Red Sox.
The final game of the brief exhibition time had a few bright spots, and left a few questions.
Herrera Hitting the Mark
One bright spot in the game at Nationals Park belonged to Dilson Herrera. He robbed an almost-certain base hit from Starlin Castro with a diving catch that Herrera made look routine. He proved that he can play defense after a highlight-reel diving catch that you can watch below thanks to MLB.com.
He also proved he can hit, with his late-inning triple off of the perpetually tough Sean Doolittle. With so many questions still remaining about who will start in the outfield, Herrera is making a case that he belongs out there.
Herrera was signed by the Orioles in the winter as a middle infielder. But with the middle infield clearly belonging to Jose Iglesias and Hanser Alberto, Herrera might just become an regular outfielder instead of an occasional infielder.
Alberto, Chris Davis, and Austin Hays had a good day at the plate. The top of the lineup manufactured a pair of runs in the first inning after Hays had a lead-off single, then scored a run after Alberto’s double. Iglesias knocked in Alberto after he continued his consistent play at the plate.
Iglesias in the Zone
The O’s bats quieted down a bit, with the exception of Iglesias who had his second day of going 3-4. Unfortunately, the veteran did not score a run and the batters who followed him could not get him back home. On Monday, Iglesias batted 2nd in the line up. But, on Tuesday, Brandon Hyde put him in the five-hold. With Iglesias’s consistency, he belongs higher up in the lineup.
The Orioles bats picked back up in the seventh – the final inning of the game. Chris Davis hit a lead-off double off of Doolittle. Dilson earned an RBI with a triple. Then Rio Ruiz got on the board with a sac fly that scored Dilson. Doolittle got his pitches under control to get the last two outs.
The pitching was the weakest part of the game. Kohl Stewart was okay, as his final line in 3.1 innings included three hits, runs, and strike outs. He walked two and hit two batters. Cesar Valdez pitched two innings and was also just ok. Mychal Givens also earned a “meh” – as he walked the second batter of the inning then gave up a double that got that runner home.
Honestly, the team looked a bit flat on Tuesday evening. Herrera stole the show, and Iglesias looks like he is a class all his own compared to the rest of the team. Playing a practice game in rainy conditions will do that to anyone. The team gets a few days off before they face the Red Sox on July 24.