SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles’ bats must be thawing out today.
They scored four runs in the second inning off Rays left-hander David Price, their biggest uprising in an inning this spring. They’ve scored more than four runs in a game only once this spring.
Jai Miller crushed a three-run homer to straightaway center field with one out in the second to give the Orioles a 4-1 lead. The ball easily cleared the 400-foot sign.
Miller and Chris Davis have hit the only home runs for the Orioles this spring.
Ronny Paulino’s first swing with the Orioles produced their first run today. He lined an RBI single into left field after back-to-back walks to J.J. Hardy and Mark Reynolds.
The Rays took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on Matt Joyce’s home run off Orioles starter Jason Hammel, who threw 33 pitches - 19 for strikes - in the first two innings. Hammel’s fastball is sitting at 93-94 mph.
There are plenty of scouts here today. The place is crawling with them. Word has spread that the Orioles have lots of players who are out of minor league options.
Update: Hammel allowed one run and one hit - Joyce’s homer - walked one and struck out two over three innings. He threw 49 pitches, 30 for strikes.
Hammel has permitted one run and three hits in five innings this spring.
Brad Bergesen replaced him in the fourth today and allowed a two-out single to Joyce, but Reynolds robbed Sean Rodriguez with a diving stop and throw to end the inning.
Update II: Brandon Guyer singled into left-center field with two outs in the fifth, but Nolan Reimold cut off the ball and threw him out at second base.
Reimold is 1-for-3 with an infield hit in the first inning. He barely missed a double down the right field line before beating out a chopper up the middle.
“Chopper” seems like an appropriate word, given his dental issues.