LAKELAND, Fla. - Break up the Orioles!
Left-hander Mike Ballard, who will be part of the minor league camp, made the trip here and pitched the last two innings. Ryan Strieby hit a solo homer with two outs in the ninth to complete the scoring.
Manager Buck Showalter thinks it's unfair that Jake Arrieta is charged with an earned run after shortstop Nick Green lost Brennan Boesch's pop up in the sun in the first inning. Showalter believes, and I agree, that the play should be scored a "team error." I've heard other managers campaign for the same ruling.
"I think that's a great example of a team error," Showalter said. "That's the little stuff that keeps me up at night."
That was the only run charged to Arrieta in two innings.
"His tempo was a little better, which was really good to see," Showalter said. "That's something we've been talking about. He got a little anxiety out of the way with the first couple hitters and he settled in pretty good."
Showalter was impressed again with Ryan Drese, who allowed a hit and struck out a batter in two scoreless innings. That's four scoreless innings for Drese this spring.
I liked this quote about Reimold, who hit his second spring home run:
"His contact-to-damage ratio has been pretty good," Showalter said.
"He and Jake are colliding with some fastballs and hitting them a long way. So far, so good. I'm trying to get (Reimold) some games under his belt. This guy hasn't played a whole lot of games since the year before last."
Showalter was asked about the collective maturity of the young starters on this roster compared to some past Orioles pitching prospects who never lived up to expectations.
"The final piece of that is how they handle success if they have it," Showalter said. "The carrot's out there. Establishing yourself in the big leagues is one thing, but how you handle it ... I hope that happens, where we get a chance to see it. But they've had a taste of it, and we'll see if they continue to bite.
"They've gone through their share of failure, too, but they also know there's an area they can get into if they follow certain guidelines and they continue to try to hold themselves to high standards. They feed off each other a little bit competitively, too, in a good way."
Here's your latest Alfredo Simon update. He was allowed to post bail.