Today’s attendance: 39,537.
Robert Andino finally got to field his first ground ball at third base.
Andino handled two pop ups and a line drive in his first two major league starts at the hot corner. He finally had a chance today on Ramiro Pena’s bouncer in the hole with one out in the sixth inning, but he pulled back his glove at the last instant, figuring that Cesar Izturis was behind him to make the play. Izturis was shaded toward second and had no chance at the ball as it skipped into left field for a single.
The next batter, Brett Gardner, sent a sharp grounder to Andino, who looked Austin Kearns back to third base before making the throw to first to retire the Yankees’ left fielder.
Derek Jeter grounded to Izturis for the final out, with the Orioles’ shortstop making the backhanded stop and throw.
“One thing he hasn’t had over there is he hasn’t had many plays on the ground,” manager Buck Showalter said of Andino. “You can’t make them hit the ball there. And they do and you wish they hadn’t. I don’t know. There’s only one way to find out, and it’s not sitting over there with me.
“You do look at guys who are out of options and guys that you’re going to be kind of in a decision mode in the spring next year. And the worst time to judge players is in the spring, so you don’t want to get fooled playing a B game on field 77 on the back fields at 10 o’clock in the morning. This is a unique opportunity to see guys, especially in this atmosphere.”
Showalter keeps talking about how he’s impressed with Andino’s athleticism.
“You want to see if the other parts of the game challenge him,” Showalter said. “The tie-breaker will always be the people who have seen him over the long haul, but players change. And let’s just put it this way: There’s a little different carrot here than there is in Norfolk.”