CLEARWATER, Fla. - Rule 5 pick Adrian Rosario walked the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the ninth while protecting a 3-2 lead. The next batter, Michael Martinez reached on a bunt single, with Rosario falling backward after fielding the ball. Carlos Rivero followed with a single into center field, scoring two runs and giving the Phillies a 4-3 victory over the Orioles before a sell-out crowd of 9,039.
Your lesson for today: Don’t walk the first two batters you face while protecting a one-run lead. And never load the bases with no outs. It seldom ends well.
Rosario tossed a scoreless eighth, walking one, before the game unraveled for him.
Josh Bell drove in two runs. Jake Fox accounted for the other run.
Manager Buck Showalter talked about starter Justin Duchscherer after the game.
“We were talking. He had a little anxiety,” Showalter said. “That was the first time he’d been out there in, what, 10 months? Something like that. He was somewhat upbeat after it was over and he got the two innings in.
“If he’s going to hold up, I think each time out there you’ll see him letting it go. He’s saying, ‘OK, is that going to hurt?’ There’s anxiety about it with everything he’s been through. I think every time he gets a little more comfortable about letting it go and not worrying...it was a big step for him today. We’ll see how he is tomorrow and how his work day goes and see if he’s ready to take a three-inning stint next time out.”
Showalter eventually will have to pitch Duchscherer and Brian Matusz on separate days. They’ll likely be paired up again when their turns come up, but Showalter can use one of them in an intrasquad game or a minor league game at Twins Lake Park.
Showalter also said he’s going to organize a “left-handed game” so his lefty relievers can be used in their specialist roles.
“One of the problems with spring training is guys like (Clay) Rapada and (Michael) Gonzalez, they come in and face four or five right-handed hitters,” Showalter said. “I think Clay’s had one or two left-handed hitters all spring.”
The Orioles might provide an update on Derrek Lee later today, so check back with me. A team orthopedic consultant was scheduled to examine Lee about an hour ago.