Showalter time

BRADENTON, Fla. - With the wind blowing out to left field today, and lifting up a few houses, manager Buck Showalter had to be pleased with his pitchers. They allowed four runs, the last two on Miles Durham’s homer off Josh Rupe in the bottom of the ninth that produced two unearned runs.


Lyle Overbay homered off left-hander Clay Rapada in the fifth inning.

“Rapada had as good an inning as anybody and gave up (a home run),” manager Buck Showalter said. “You’ve got to look at the conditions today. I thought Rupe threw great. It would be pretty picky to find anybody you weren’t real happy with throwing the ball.”

Brad Bergesen and Ryan Drese combined for four scoreless innings before Rapada entered the game. Drese retired all six batters he faced.

“Drese was real good,” Showalter said. “Sinking the ball well, and the arm strength is there. You can tell he feels good about where he is physically. He can make it look easy when he’s got the sinker going.”

Koji Uehara allowed two hits in the sixth, and a misplayed popup with two outs cost him a run. Kevin Gregg and Jeremy Accardo each tossed a scoreless inning, with Gregg walking a batter and striking out one, and Accardo striking out one.

J.J. Hardy went 2-for-3 as the leadoff hitter. Vladimir Guerrero had two hits and an RBI. Nolan Reimold homered, walked three times and scored twice.

Reimold played all nine innings because Showalter wanted to give him as many at-bats as possible. Or plate appearances, when you consider the three walks.

“That’s fine with me,” Reimold said. “I feel fine. I have no complaints physically, so he can run me out there as much as he wants.”

Asked if it’s important for Reimold to get off to a good start after an unfortunate 2010 season, Showalter said, “If he never had any history of doing good things, but he knows that we’re kind of throwing out last year and starting fresh. You can tell he’s in a good place in his life right now. He’s gotten back to it.”

Felix Pie, Matt Angle, Brandon Snyder and Brendan Harris also had hits. Harris’ double drove in two runs. Robert Andino had a sacrifice fly and an error.

Showalter also said that Justin Duchscherer is pretty upbeat after throwing today from flat ground, a flat mound and a half mound.

“I know (head athletic trainer) Richie Bancells feels the same way, so it’ll be interesting to see how (Duchscherer) feels tomorrow,” Showalter said. “I wouldn’t say he turned it loose today, but he was pretty firm with his mechanics and actions and everything. He was throwing off the half mound with some hops.”

Duchscherer will throw against Wednesday or Thursday. He could be taken “another step higher on the mound,” Showalter said.

Derrek Lee showed up today with no soreness in his right thumb. He’s had two good days of BP in a row.

“That’s exciting for us. First time he’s done work and come back not sore or having any swelling in there at all,” Showalter said. “The news on him and Duke both was real good today.”

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