For a third time already this Spring, the O’s take on the Tampa Bay Rays. Jeff Niemann makes his second appearance against the Birds, with Chris Tillman getting the start for the home team.
* Chad Moeller, looking to beat out a couple other contenders for the back-up catcher job, hit a solo home run and added a single.
* Alfredo Simon pitched two perfect innings, striking out one.
* Tillman wasn’t great, seeming to struggle with his control a little and giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk, while striking out just one in 2.1 IP before reaching his pitch limit for the day.
* Jake Arrieta wasn’t better, giving up 3 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits and a walk, though he did pick up a couple K’s in his inning of work.
* Lefty Alberto Castillo gave up 2 runs (also 1 earned) on 3 hits, no walks, and a strike-out.
* Defensively, Moeller “gave” Carl Crawford a “triple”, allowing him to reach first on catcher’s interference and then third (by way of second) with a poor throw on a stolen base attempt. Good thing he can hit.
* At third-base, Josh Bell made two errors and it sounds like there were a couple of other misplays as well. Bell’s stock is fairly heavily tied to how well he can play third and whether or not he can improve against left-handed pitching. One game, but it’s less than encouraging.
O’s lose 8-3, dropping their record to 1-6. Can’t commit five errors on defense and win all too often. Doesn’t help when you strike out 9 times at the plate, to only one walk.