Josh Perrault picked up the save in the Orioles’ 3-1 victory, their third win in a row.
Danny Valencia doubled over the head of center fielder Jeff Salazar, who froze on the ball before breaking late, but Perrault retired the last two batters. Salazar ended the game with a diving catch in right-center field to rob Juan Portes.
As always, manager Dave Trembley met with reporters on the field after the game ended.
“Most of the guys had command of their fastball,” he said. “Hernandez was down. I think one of the best pitches he threw all day was one he didn’t get, which might have been a strike, a 2-2 breaking ball to Hudson. His secondary pitches got better later. He pitched down and got some good plays behind him. Our matchups were very good. Albers came back after the 3-0 count. We got some hits with two outs. But it all starts with pitching. Command of your fastball, pitch down, pitch ahead. For the most part we did that.”
Trembley was asked whether David Hernandez seemed more comfortable starting today’s game.
“I’m not sure about that,” Trembley replied. “What he was today was a guy that commanded his fastball and pitched down in the strike zone. You guys covered the club last year. You know his Achilles is he pitches up and he gives up a lot of home runs. He pitches up, then he’s a one-pitch guy and people lay off his breaking stuff because he doesn’t throw it for strikes, and they sit on one pitch and he pitches behind, and sometimes, like all young guys, they sacrifice location and velocity to throw strikes. Today, he did not do that. That’s development, that’s growth, that’s maturity on his part. That’s very nice to see.
“Pitching is pitching, whether you’re starting or relieving. You’ve still got to do the basics. He did the basics today and he was good at it. He repeated it. I said 50 (pitches). We gave him 10 more. I’ve seen him in the past where he works real hard to get three outs. Today it didn’t look like he was really working real hard to get the three outs.”
Pitching coach Rick Kranitz attended today’s intrasquad game before hustling over to Fort Myers, and he gave Trembley a report on Kevin Millwood and Jim Johnson.
“Millwood, 88 pitches, five full innings, better breaking stuff, more strikes,” Trembley said. “Johnson, two full innings, 32 pitches, made one pitch - a flat fastball - that Waring hit for a home run. But Kranny said he’s very pleased with how Johnson threw and with Millwood. Eighty-eight pitches. That was good.”