SARASOTA, Fla. - Matt Lindstrom retired the side in order in the top of the ninth inning, striking out one in the Orioles’ 12-3 victory over the Nationals before 6,665 at Ed Smith Stadium.
The Orioles outhit the Nationals 17-4.
“This is just about the stage of the spring when you see the bats start to catch up with some of the pitching, and you see the pitchers start to go through - not a dead arm - but the novelty’s worn off of everything and guys are kind of going through a little dip in the graph, so to speak,” said manager Buck Showalter.
Wilson Betemit, Adam Jones and Matt Wieters, the 3-4-5 hitters, were a combined 10-for-10 with nine RBIs and five runs scored. Wieters went 4-for-4 with six RBIs.
“I thought going into a game or two ago that he was starting to get loaded a little bit more and not drift,” Showalter said. “He knows what he’s doing. It’s one thing to have your brain and your knowledge say one thing and your body cooperate.”
Jake Arrieta allowed one run and four hits over five innings, walking one and striking out two.
“Sometimes, I think he’s almost feeling a little too strong,” Showalter said. “I thought he settled in and pitched a little better after the first inning. He was up a little bit. Saw the command of his breaking ball get better. Kind of went to the slider a little bit more.”
Showalter contemplated sending Arrieta to the bullpen to throw during the long bottom of the fourth inning.
Dontrelle Willis walked the first three batters he faced and threw a wild pitch in the sixth inning. He allowed two runs (one earned), but would have gotten out of the inning without anyone crossing the plate if the Orioles turned a double play instead of settling for the 4-6 force with Manny Machado at shortstop.
“I try to keep in mind it’s been eight days since he pitched,” Showalter said. “Should have got out of the inning unscathed if we defend.
“I think Manny ... one of the biggest challenges of young players is adjusting their clock to the game at this level. Everything’s a tick faster. Really good players up there at this level have a good clock and he’s going to have one, but today was a good lesson for him. I think we were a little lethargic with the feed, too.”
Majority owner Peter Angelos toured the clubhouse today with his son, Lou.
“It was great having him here. The players were excited,” Showalter said.
“He should be very proud with what he’s accomplished with this locker room and this facility. Peter had to sign off on finishing off a few things that put it at a little bit different level. Same with some of the improvements at Camden Yards.”