Orioles trail, Arrieta speaks, Matusz heals

LAKELAND, Fla. - It started to rain in the top of the fifth, but it’s already clearing up as we approach the bottom half of the inning.

Welcome to Florida.

The Orioles still trail the Tigers 1-0 as David Riske enters the game. They have one hit - Cesar Izturis’ bloop single - and back-to-back walks by Josh Bell and Nick Green in the fifth. Bell stole second with Green at the plate.

Ryan Drese allowed one hit and struck out one over two scoreless innings.

Towson University’s Casper Wells is 1-for-1 with a walk. He singled off Riske after drawing a walk against Jake Arrieta.

Arrieta talked about today’s start, when he allowed one run and two hits, and issued two walks, over two innings.

“I felt great,” he said. “First time being at game speed, sinker’s got more life, fastball’s got a little more jump to it, breaking ball’s sharp. Now it’s just kind of getting a little bit more consistent around the strike zone. Mechanics felt great. Just got to get ahead. On those two walks, starting those lefties off with sinkers, they just ran out of the zone on me. That’s something I’ll find as I progress and you get a little bit more comfortable out there. But overall it was fine for the first time out.”

“Being one of the last guys to get out there, it just felt like a long time since I’ve actually been in a game situation, so it does feel good to be out there and be in that environment again and face live hitters. Just glad that one’s out of the way, and I look forward to getting stretched out more and getting the pitch count up and being able to work on a few more things, like the changeup. Working it in and out a little bit more. And that’ll happen when you get stretched out to three, four and five innings.”

I’ve been asked a lot about the club’s decision to send Brian Matusz to Philadelphia to have a wart removed. They wanted the team’s dermatologist to perform the laser procedure.

Manager Buck Showalter was asked earlier today whether he felt relieved that the soreness in Justin Duchscherer’s hip has subsided.

“Because of his situation and the history with it, that’s why we said, ‘Let’s wait 48 hours and see what we are dealing with here,’” Showalter replied. “Once he got over the emotional part of, ‘Tell me this isn’t going on again,’ each day he was like, ‘OK, this feels pretty good.’

“We put together a tentative schedule for him starting on Tuesday. In a perfect world, getting to that 20-27 innings - 20 is the minimum, 27 would be fine. If he stays on schedule starting Tuesday, it would be fine. It’s obviously a lot of bridges to cross, but so far so good.

“We knew coming into this, if he’s healthy he’s worth a gamble, especially the way Andy (MacPhail) set up the contract. We certainly didn’t come into this with a given that he was going to be healthy to start the season.”

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