Final thoughts on 14-9 victory

SARASOTA, Fla. - They also played a game here today.

The Orioles gave up six runs in the top of the ninth, but held on for a 14-9 win over the Tigers before 7,621, the 10th sellout at Ed Smith Stadium this spring.

Ryohei Tanaka was charged with six runs in one-third of an inning. Brandon Cooney got the last two outs, though he gave up a hit and a bases-loaded walk.

Good times.

Justin Duchscherer threw two innings in the simulated game on Field No. 4 and didn’t experience any problems with his hip or line drives hit up the middle.

The game featured Duchscherer and Brian Matusz pitching to six minor league hitters.

Manager Buck Showalter broke the news about Matusz’s injury to reporters who were inside Ed Smith Stadium while the left-hander was throwing 29 pitches in his abbreviated outing.

Showalter indicated that Matusz has thrown enough innings this spring to make Saturday’s start against the Rays, as long as his left arm responds favorably to treatment. Zach Britton would be one of the candidates to replace Matusz if a change is necessary.

Britton remains on the camp roster after allowing two runs and eight hits in six innings.

“He’s had a good spring,” Showalter said. “You can tell why people think a lot of his potential and future, including me now. First time I’ve really seen him throw other than tape. He’s got a chance to be a good one.”

Showalter also talked about outfielder Nolan Reimold, who was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk before the game.

“Nolan and I, we talked a little bit after everybody in the room had left,” Showalter said. “I didn’t get to see the guy (last season) that I saw this spring, and I can see why he’s so well thought of. He’s probably in the best physical shape that he’s been in in a while, running probably better than he ever has. And I thought other than early on, getting used to spring training, he showed that he could play defense. Right-handed power. I’m glad that he’s ours. Not only for depth this year, but I think the future bodes well for him. I like where he is right now.

“He had a really good off-season. He put a lot of the challenges he had last year behind him and put himself in a good spot to get back to the 2009 form that I had heard about. I know it’s frustrating for him, but it was frustrating for us also to see all the struggles he went through last year. If he hadn’t had the challenges he had last year, he’d probably be in a different...but he’s put the tough part behind him and I think he’s got the best ahead of him. He’ll be back.”

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