After taking a 7-2 lead in the 7th inning today, it looked to the Orioles like a day meant for the win column. Six runs for the Rays in the bottom of the 7th off of non-roster invitee Ryan Drese changed that, giving Tampa Bay an 8-7 lead heading into the 8th. After singles from Brendan Harris and Xavier Avery in the top of the 9th, Nick Green stepped to the plate with two outs and the game just about to end and hit a two-RBI single to center field, giving the O’s the lead and ultimately the W.
Brad Bergesen got the start for the O’s today, pitching a solid five innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and a walk. Ryan Drese, who came on in relief of Bergesen, pitched a smooth 6th inning before running into trouble in the 7th, then being replaced by Michael Ballard. Ballard pitched the final out of that inning, as well as the last two innings of the game, to the tune of no runs and only one hit, also recording a strikeout.
Brian Roberts started his first game since re-injuring his back/neck against the Yankees on March 7th. He went 0-2 with a strikeout, ground out, and a walk, but it was a pleasant sight for O’s fans to see, since we can never be sure with Roberts and his injury status these days. Derrek Lee, who was expected to get another few at bats today, was a late scratch due to pain in his foot, which he fouled a ball off of yesterday. MRIs on his foot came back negative, and assuming the pain subsides soon, he is expected back in the lineup on Tuesday.
Other hitting highlights in the victory included:
- Brendan Harris: 2-2, run scored
- Adam Jones: 2-4, RBI, 2 runs scored
- Nick Markakis: 2-4, 3 RBIs, run scored
- Luke Scott (3 hits coming into today): 2-4, RBI, 2 runs scored
- Mark Reynolds: 2-4
- J.J. Hardy: 2-3, run scored
The Orioles have their first and only off day of the spring tomorrow, though some players will be used at minor league camp to get work in. The Birds take on the Yankees on Tuesday in Sarasota.