DUNEDIN, Fla. - Playing the Toronto Blue Jays for the fourth time this spring, the Orioles have taken an early 2-0 lead after three innings.
The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a Nolan Reimold RBI groundout. It scored Lew Ford who doubled with one out. The O's made it 2-0 in the second on Danny Valencia's RBI double, which scored Taylor Teagarden, who had doubled high off the fence in left. That was three doubles in the first two innings against Jays lefty J.A. Happ, who entered with a 1.93 spring ERA.
Ford, by the way, added another double, the O's fourth today, but was stranded on the bases in the top of the third. He is now 13-for-25 (.520) this spring.
Jake Arrieta, making his fifth spring appearance counting one outing against Spain's WBC team, has put up three scoreless innings so far, allowing just two singles. He has no walks and one strikeout.
Toronto hit three balls hard but didn't score in the first. Emilio Bonafacio lined out to short and Maicer Izturis singled to center. Melky Cabrera then smoked a liner toward second that Yamaico Navarro caught for an unassisted, inning-ending double play as Izturis was running on the pitch.
Arrieta entered this outing having pitched 9 2/3 spring innings, allowing seven hits and four runs (three earned) with four walks and seven strikeouts, again counting the Spain game. In his most recent outing Monday against Pittsburgh, he pitched four scoreless innings of two-hit ball with five strikeouts.
He's next up here today in the fifth-starter competition.
The Orioles are 2-0-1 against the Jays this spring. They have the best record in the Grapefruit League at 11-5-2.
Update: Chris Tillman pitched two scoreless innings of one-hit ball today against a Minnesota Twins' Single-A club at Twin Lakes Park.
He walked one, fanned two and threw 36 pitches. It was his first outing since March 3. He was scratched from his last start with abdominal soreness. Buck Showalter said earlier he could be bumped up to five innings for his next outing if all went well today and it certainly sounds like it did.
Update II: The O's lead 2-0 after five. The first two Jays batters reached on an error by first baseman Conor Jackson and a walk in the fifth, but Arrieta got the next two out and then Daniel Schlereth came on to get the final out of the inning to keep Toronto off the board.
Arrieta today: 4 2/3 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts.
We don't have an exact pitch count, but believe it was in the mid 70s for Arrieta. His outing today was the longest by an O's starter this spring and he now has pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings over his last two starts.