After a great showing in the home opener against the Rays on Tuesday, the Orioles came into today’s game with hopes of continuing their winning ways. With a 3-0 record so far during spring exhibitions, Brian Matusz took the mound against the Minnesota Twins, facing Twins ace Carl Pavano. While Matusz gave the Birds two hitless innings, including two strikeouts and a walk, Pavano stepped up for the visitors and pitched three scoreless, allowing only one hit off of Oriole bats.
The Orioles offensive woes continued throughout the day. With eight of the nine expected Opening Day starters in the lineup for the O’s (minus Derrek Lee), it was an off day for the starters, putting up only five hits total before being replaced in the field. Even worse was that no non-starter got a hit on the day off of any Twins pitcher, hitting .172 as a team on the day. Mark Reynolds had the best day out of anybody, going 2-3, raising his spring average to .222.
While the Orioles couldn’t put any runs up on the day, the pitching side of things was a lot more positive. After Matusz, Kevin Gregg (1 K), Jeremy Accardo, Adrian Rosario, Josh Rupe, and Wynn Pelzer (2 Ks) all followed with scoreless single innings. Where the defensive side ran into trouble was with Chorye Spoone on the mound. After spending last season coming back from injury at AA Bowie and returning to the ranks among Orioles prospects, Spoone gave up two runs on a Brian Dozier sacrifice fly and a Luke Hughes RBI single.
All in all, this is a game that the Orioles bats look to put behind them. The lack of production at the plate is something new to the squad this spring after scoring 6, 12, and 6 runs in their first three games respectively. As for Brian Matusz and the series of arms that worked today, Mark Connor (new Orioles pitching coach) must be pleased with their combined efforts to hold the fort down.
Daily Nugget Award(s):
- Orioles pitching staff, combining for only 2 ER and 1 BB with 6 Ks