The Rays keep playing that exaggerated infield shift with Matt Wieters at the plate. Second baseman Sean Rodriguez drops into shallow right field, shortstop Jason Bartlett swings around to second and third baseman Evan Longoria occupies the shortstop position.
It’s an interesting perception of Wieters, considering that one of the most common questions posed to him last year was, “When are you going to pull a ball for a home run?” He kept going to the opposite field.
Wieters flied to center to end the first inning and strand Felix Pie, who led off with a single.
Brian Matusz has retired six of the first seven batters he’s faced. He struck out Longoria on a changeup, his best pitch, and caught Carlos Pena looking at a slider for the first two outs in the second inning.
B.J. Upton walked, but Willy Aybar flied to the warning track in right, with Nick Markakis making a nice running grab.
The Orioles are wearing their orange batting practice jerseys with the “O” cap. They went exclusively with the home whites in spring training.
Anything to change the team’s luck and perhaps bond with fans who happen to be wearing their orange Matt Wieters T-shirts.
Did you know: The Orioles rank 29th in the majors in pitches seen per plate appearance at 3.63. The Giants are 30th at 3.56.
Also did you know: The Orioles’ starting pitchers lead the AL in strikeouts with 36. The Dodgers and Giants each have 38.
Update: In two starts this season totaling eight innings, Brian Matusz has gotten exactly one ground ball out - from Ben Zobrist tonight to end the first inning. He’s induced 12 fly balls, struck out nine and picked off two runners.