SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles observed a moment of silence for Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver after a video tribute.
Zach Britton threw 19 pitches, 13 for strikes, in a scoreless first inning. Eduardo Escobar reached on an infield hit with one out and Josh Willingham singled to left. Brian Roberts bobbled a potential double-play ball, settling for the force at second, and Chris Parmelee lined to short.
Jake Arrieta threw seven of his 11 pitches for strikes in the second. He walked Drew Butera with two outs.
“I felt strong,” said Arrieta, who threw another 17-18 pitches in the bullpen. “I wanted to really drive the fastball downhill, bottom of the zone. Guys now are probably going to be swinging early and often, especially as spring gets underway. They haven’t acquired really many at-bats, so they want to jump on fastballs when they see them, but that’s what we want to work on - command of fastball, keeping it down, and then mixing breaking balls when we need to.
“I only threw two of them. One was up in the zone, the other was really good. For the short amount of work in today’s game, I was pretty pleased with it.”
Arrieta said he’s concentrating on “tightening up the fastball command.”
“Obviously, you have more room for error if the ball is down than up in the zone,” he said. “I’ve talked to (Matt) Wieters about this a few times. He’s like, ‘Don’t be so conscious of spotting it in and out. Keep the ball down with your stuff and you’ll be fine.’ That’s really the main concern, keeping the ball down with everything, just drive the ball downhill.”
Tommy Hunter served up a two-run homer to Willingham in the third after Darin Mastroianni’s leadoff double and Escobar’s grounder. Hunter surrendered 32 homers last season, and Chris Davis took him deep in an intrasquad game earlier this week.
Davis is having a nice game today. He reached on an infield hit after Wieters’ one-out double in the second, he scooped Manny Machado’s throw out of the dirt and he made a lunging stop along the line and dived to tag the base and rob Ryan Doumit.
The Orioles led 1-0 on J.J. Hardy’s sacrifice fly in the second before Willingham’s home run.
Roberts is 0-for-2, grounding to first base and shortstop. He will leave camp soon to attend a friend’s wedding.
Update: Davis turned in another outstanding play at first base, making a diving backhanded stop of Pedro Florimon’s grounder and racing to the bag for the out. Then he lined a single into right field, making him 2-for-2 today.
Steve Johnson induced three ground balls and issued a four-pitch walk in the fourth inning. He threw 16 pitches, six for strikes.
Britton described his outing as “OK.”
“Definitely trying to be relaxed the first time out,” he said. “Don’t want to overdo it or anything. It’s easy to do that. Felt pretty good. Made some good pitches down in the zone. Left some balls up. There was a hit, but for the most part, it was a pretty good first one.
“I haven’t pitched in spring training in a whole year. It’s nice to get out there. I felt pretty good. You build off this one and go get them the next time.
“The sinker was actually really good today. Moving a lot. I threw a couple good down in the zone that they took for balls, too, so it’s a give and take. The four-seamer was a little up. They hit the ball pretty hard on the four-seams today. They were up and over the plate, so I’ll just make an adjustment next time.”