FORT MYERS, Fla. - Xavier Avery’s sacrifice fly in the ninth inning scored Chris Dickerson, who walked and moved up on Ryan Flaherty’s single.
No win today, but no shutout.
The Orioles lost to the Minnesota Twins 7-1 to ruin their bid for a perfect Grapefruit League season.
Jair Jurrjens told reporters that he’s still having issues with his timing and mechanics. Does manager Buck Showalter agree with that assessment?
“He knows himself and his body,” Showalter said. “We’re still trying to familiarize ourselves with him. But he had a lot of sink there. He’ll get better. He pitched a little better last time out. It’s been a while for him. I’d lean on whatever he tells you because he knows it better.
“Rick (Adair) and him will talk some. Now’s not the time.”
Jurrjens is trying to make the club as a non-roster invite. Does he get more rope because he’s a former National League All-Star? Is there more leniency?
“I think this time of the year,” Showalter said. “We’re not even to March yet. Like I said before, we’re not going to close the door good or bad on anybody at this point. It’s a process with him. He’s fine.”
Jurrjens mentioned that he’s out of whack, with his release point and his tendency to fly open in his delivery.
“I would lean everything toward what he says,” Showalter said. “I can’t really... He knows it.
“He’s missing down. Everything is down. I’d feel a lot different if he was missing up, away. It’s just all down. It’s kind of like Devin Jones yesterday. I like the fact that, when they miss, they miss down.
“I’m sure (Chris) Robinson didn’t like it. It beat him up pretty good.”
Kevin Gausman pitched the fourth and fifth innings today, while the Twins still had their regulars in the game. He made a late appearance Sunday against Toronto Blue Jays’ reserves in Dunedin.
“He faced some good hitters still in the game,” Showalter said.
“I wanted him to start an inning. I didn’t want to bring him in the middle. But if the situation presented itself where it allowed us to get through the game properly, we would have rather him pitch a little earlier. For his sake, not ours. Not to judge him or anything. Just a good experience for him.”
Showalter remains impressed with Zach Clark, 29, who was added to the 40-man roster after the 2012 season.
“I can see why Zach won a bunch of ballgames,” Showalter said. “He’s a good baseball player who happens to be a pitcher. He stays down, he’s got an idea. He hides the ball well, too.
“We faced him last year in Norfolk. He’s got some deception in his delivery. He can sink the ball. He stays down in the zone. You can tell he’s got a plan. He’s got a good delivery. There are a lot of things that work in his favor.
“Sometimes, it takes guys a while to figure it out. After seeing him, I’m glad we put him on our roster.”