BRADENTON, Fla. - You can’t stop Lew Ford. You can only hope to contain him.
Ford is 2-for-2 today with a single and home run, and the Orioles have taken a 2-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field.
Ford, re-signed to a minor league deal over the winter, is now 11-for-19 with two home runs this spring.
The Orioles scored in the second inning on consecutive singles by Danny Valencia, Yamaico Navarro and LJ Hoes. Ford homered with one out in the third off Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke.
Conor Jackson followed with a single and Steve Pearce doubled off the left-field fence, but they were stranded when Russ Canzler and Valencia struck out.
Jake Arrieta is back on the mound for his third inning of work. He gave up a two-out double to Neil Walker in the first inning and ran the count full to all three batters in the second without allowing a baserunner.
Arrieta has thrown 30 pitches, 18 for strikes. He’s fanned three batters.
Zach Britton is expected to enter the game in the fourth.
First base umpire John Hirschbeck ran off the field in the first inning and headed up the stands. It appeared that a couple of paramedics were trailing him. No word on what happened, but the game is now being played with only three umpires.
Update: Arrieta is the first Orioles pitcher to go four innings this spring, and he blanked the Pirates on two hits.
Arrieta didn’t walk a batter and he struck out five. On the negative side, he only threw 34 of his 60 pitches for strikes.
Arrieta went three innings against Team Spain in his last appearance, when he gave up an unearned run and three hits.
Jackson is 2-for-3 with a stolen base today, making him 10-for-27 this spring. Hoes also is 2-for-3, with a double and RBI.
Valencia also has two hits, and his RBI single in the fifth increased the Orioles’ lead to 3-0.
The Orioles have 11 hits. They put runners on second and third with no outs in the fourth inning, but couldn’t score.