Fit to be tied

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles and Yankees played to a 0-0 tie in front of 8,471, the largest baseball crowd in Ed Smith Stadium history.


The Orioles pulled their goalie, but still couldn’t score.

Manager Buck Showalter approved of Zach Britton’s outing, but noted that the left-hander needs to throw more first-pitch strikes.

“That’ll come,” Showalter said. “Stayed off the sweet part of the bat and got a lot of ground balls. Good start for him.”

Showalter won’t shield the minor leaguers from the glare of the spotlight.

“I want to see how they’re going to handle each step, and this is another part of it,” Showalter said. “He pitched in Bowie and Norfolk, and now he’s pitching in a big league game in spring training. It’s part of the process. Instead of keeping him from that, I want to expose him to it and see how they’re going to handle it. I thought Zach handled it well tonight.”

Jeremy Accardo went two innings tonight, which is significant because Showalter can’t have a bullpen full of one-inning relievers.

“Not in the American League and not in the American League East,” Showalter said. “It’s important that we have more than one guy down there who can go more than one inning.”

Showalter didn’t mind seeing Brian Roberts dive head-first into the bag in the first inning.

“That’s part of his game,” Showalter said. “It’s something that’s been a point of emphasis for him this spring. “

Kevin Gregg turned in another impressive outing. Three up, three down.

“He’s a professional pitcher,” Showalter said. “You can see why he does what he does. He’s a guy who’s been down a lot of roads and a lot of wars. He doesn’t have a whole lot of panic in him. He doesn’t have any panic in him at all.”

The first round of cuts are expected to come on Friday.

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