The Orioles got on the board early and often today, scoring thirteen total runs in the first three innings, including eleven earned off of Tiger starter Max Scherzer. Scherzer, who couldn’t finish the 3rd inning, got off to a bad start right away when Luke Scott hit a grand slam in the 1st inning, starting a string of hits that eventually led to his removal.
After Scott’s slam, the Orioles kept up the offense in the 2nd inning. Jake Fox hit his league leading 10th home run in the spring followed by a Vladimir Guerrero RBI single and a Luke Scott three run home run, his second of the day. Scott had seven RBIs by the middle of the 2nd inning today. In the 3rd, Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, and Guerrero all had RBIs, raising the score to 13-0 for Orioles starter Zach Britton.
Britton, the best statistical pitcher in camp for the Orioles to this point but unlikely to make the team as a service time businss decision, threw six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and a walk. He also struck out four. With Brian Matusz questionable for the start of the season now after getting hit in the arm by a line drive in a simulated game by LJ Hoes, Britton may have a chance to beat the odds and make the rotation after allowing only three earned runs over twenty spring innings, not to mention five scoreless innings in a minor league game.
Jim Johnson followed Britton, pitching a scoreless 7th, followed by Jeremy Accardo, who allowed one run in the 8th on a solo home run by Brennan Boesch. In the bottom of the 8th, Robert Andino made up for that run by walking with the bases loaded to even up the inning score.
Orioles minor leaguer Ryohei Tanaka came on in the 9th with an eleven run lead, and got into a bunch of trouble, allowing six runs on four hits and one walk. Tanaka, only able to get one out, was relieved by farmhand Brandon Cooney, who closed the game for the Birds.