SARASOTA, Fla. - Brian Roberts is 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles today against the New York Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium.
Roberts’ second double was an opposite-field shot off the fence in left. He scored on Nick Markakis’ single to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning.
Roberts was 0-for-2 in Saturday’s opener against the Minnesota Twins.
Tommy Hunter gave up a single and a bunt hit in the third, but he escaped the jam with a strikeout and ground ball.
Hunter served up a home run to the Twins’ Josh Willingham on Saturday. He pitched one inning again today, which would suggest that he’s on a reliever’s schedule. Read into it what you will.
Pedro Strop routinely hit 95 mph on the stadium radar gun in the fourth inning. He issued a walk with two outs before striking out Dan Johnson.
Brian Matusz gave the Orioles two scoreless innings today, retiring the last five batters.
“It was nice to get out there and get the first one out of the way, kind of get in the rhythm again,” he said. “It’s been a while since I’ve been a starter. It’s nice to work on the routine again and try and find that. Out there on the mound, working well with (Matt) Wieters and the group, establishing the fastball. Threw some changeups, got a couple of ground balls out of it.
“Manny (Machado) made a nice play. B-Rob (Brian Roberts) with a good turn and CD (Chris Davis) over there doing what he does best, picking the ball. It was a nice first start. Good to have something to go off of now.”
The first two Yankees reached on singles before Matusz induced a double-play ball and cruised through the rest of his outing.
“I thought I felt good from the get-go,” Matusz said. “(Brett) Gardner, he’s a tough out. He puts the ball on the ground. You’ve got to be perfect. He’s so fast. (Jayson) Nix, a little bleeder. Those type of things happen.
“Nice to be able to bounce back and get good defense. Like I said, nice play from Manny, B-Rob, a good turn. I was able to fall into a rhythm.”
Asked what he’s working on this spring, Matusz replied, “Everything. Finding a routine as a starter, get everything going, fastball in and out, curveball, slider, changeup.
“Right now, my focus is getting my fastball and changeup established. Breaking pitches a little bit behind right now, curveball and slider aren’t there. Like I said, got the fastball and changeup going, the curveball and slider will work out.”
Update: Nate McLouth pinch-hit for Nolan Reimold in the fourth inning and drove in two runs with a double into right-center field. Orioles 4, Yankees 0.
Roberts grounded out in his third at-bat.
Left-hander Mark Hendrickson retired the first two batters in the fifth on a strikeout and ground ball. Brett Gardner collected his third hit of the day and Jayson Nix also singled, but Matt Diaz bounced to third.
Update II: Trayvon Robinson homered in Saturday’s opener. He doubled and scored yesterday. He singled, stole second base and scored on Russ Canzler’s single today.
Nice start for Robinson, whose run increased the Orioles’ lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Mike Wright retired the Yankees in order in the top of the sixth on a ground ball, strikeout and liner to right.
Update III: Mike Wright tossed two scoreless innings. The only baserunner reached on an infield hit, with the first base umpire ruling that Travis Ishikawa didn’t keep his foot on the bag.
The Orioles chose Wright in the third round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of East Carolina.
Zach Clark (UMBC) retired the side in order in the eighth, striking out Tyler Austin to end the inning, and the Orioles continue to hold a 5-0 lead.
Today’s attendance: 7,335.
Update IV: Adam Russell retired the first two batters before allowing a run in the ninth. The Orioles win 5-1.
Corban Joseph, brother of Orioles minor league catcher Caleb Joseph, scored the lone Yankees run.
The Orioles are off to a 3-0 start in the Grapefruit League.