Final thoughts on 9-1 loss (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Not much to report on today’s 9-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers beyond what I’ve already written in previous entries.

Mark Reynolds went 2-for-3 to leave his average at .207.

The Orioles were charged with one error. Manager Buck Showalter thought it easily could have been more.

Did anyone pick Josh Rupe as their spring training dark horse?

Rupe tossed 2 2/3 scoreless and hitless innings today. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in 8 2/3 this spring. He gave up two unearned runs in the exhibition opener against the Pirates in Bradenton.

Rupe has surrendered four hits, walked two and struck out two. He’s faced the Pirates (twice), Twins, Red Sox and Tigers.

“I think he got eight outs in 17 pitches,” Showalter said. “Go figure. It was kind of a strange game.”

“He was very much on our radar screen. That’s the reason we worked to get him in here. He can sink the baseball and keep it off the sweet part of the bat. He’s a guy who can pitch to multiple batters with one pitch. That’s hard to find.”

Rupe, 28, is a spring invite who is trying to earn a spot in the bullpen. He appeared in 11 games with the Royals last season, going 1-1 with a 5.59 ERA in 11 games. He allowed 14 hits and walked seven in 9 2/3 innings. He posted a 2.92 ERA in 40 appearances at Triple-A Omaha.

My dark horse pick, David Riske, allowed three runs and seven hits in 1 1/3 innings to raise his ERA to 9.00.

Showalter noted that starter Brian Matusz left a lot of pitches up in the strike zone.

“His fastball, when he got it down, he had a little success,” Showalter said. “We were lucky to get four ups for him. He had one hitter in the fourth. He got that accomplished today.”

Since you probably crave more injury news, first baseman Derrek Lee swung a bat today. Showalter didn’t know whether Lee hit soft toss or off a tee, but I can’t imagine that it really matters.

Update: We’re told Lee will hit off a tee tomorrow, which was the original report. He didn’t swing a bat today. He wasn’t scheduled to do so until tomorrow.

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