Top pitching prospect Jake Arrieta gets the start against a relatively stacked Tampa Bay line-up. Arrieta’s stock has fallen a little bit in my eyes, but a good year at Triple-A would do a lot to give me confidence about him winnings a starting job at the big league level next year. I’d imagine that Jake will see a cup of coffee in Baltimore later this year as well.
* Arrieta was solid, limiting the Rays to 2 runs on 5 hits (one a home run by Evan Longoria) in 4 innings pitched. He didn’t walk a batter, and struck out two.
* Pedro Beato pitched two scoreless innings in relief, allowing 3 hits and K’ing one. He also had a 4 to 1 groundout to flyout ratio, which is nice.
* Robert Andino – presumably after finding out that his spot on the team is gone – hit his third Spring home run. He’s second on the team in that category, though apparently the issue was his defense and attitude.
* Ty Wigginton singled, doubled, and drew a walk. He also was involved in a couple of double plays as the second-baseman.
* Steven Johnson made an appearance, having been returned to the O’s by the Giants a little while ago. Seems that all the Rule V drama was unnecessary after-all. Anyway, Johnson somehow manages to give up only a single run despite 3 hits and 4 walks in 3 IP. Thank goodness the team got him back!
* Nick Markakis went 1-4 with a strike-out. He still hasn’t drawn a walk. Exactly one hitter – Cubs rookie and noted hacker Tyler Colvin – has been up more often this Spring without working a free pass. The next guy after Nick is Alfonso Soriano. Mildly concerned. And it’s not like Markakis is killing the ball, with his 13 K’s and .254 average (with just two solo home runs and three doubles). I mean jeez – Joey Gathright has 0 at bat with the O’s this Spring, and still has more walks as an Oriole (1, in his only PA).
The young Orioles’ hurlers got the job done, and the offense squeaked out just enough runs – plating one in the top of the ninth – to beat the Rays, 4-3. That stops the O’s skid, and improves their record to 11-16.