SARASOTA, Fla. - Manny Machado hit his first spring home run today, a solo shot in the bottom of the first inning.
The Cardinals tied the score 1-1 in the second inning on a Machado error, a walk, a double steal and Jon Jay’s RBI bouncer. The run was unearned.
Bud Norris has thrown 45 pitches in two innings, including 26 for strikes.
The first four Cardinals reached against Norris in the first, but Steve Clevenger threw out Jay trying to steal second base after a leadoff single. Norris has walked three and struck out three over two innings.
Chris Davis singled in the first and J.J. Hardy doubled in the second off Cardinals starter John Lackey.
Instant update: Norris issued his fourth walk to open the top of the third and Matt Adams followed with a two-run shot to center field on a 3-0 pitch to break the tie.
Norris has thrown 62 pitches, 34 strikes, in three innings by my unofficial count.
Matt Wieters was the subject of more pregame talk during manager Buck Showalter’s media session. Showalter talked about how there isn’t much history with catchers coming back from “Tommy John” surgery.
“Kind of tells you there’s some unknown,” Showalter said. “That’s why it was key for us in the offseason to make sure we were covered. We were interested in Nick Hundley, but we got to the point where they (Rockies) were contractually, like I told him, ‘You need to take that.’
“I know this: Matt’s done everything you’re supposed to do and then some. We’re still ahead of the curve if you go by the limited background you have on it. You can’t look at it like a pitcher. You can’t look at it even like a shortstop. There’s a lot of off-balance throws. You’re not always going to have the perfect footwork and then just pure arm strength takes over. I think there’s a lot of unknown there. We’re hoping for the best.
“They’ll have something to base the future on when the start trying to analyze this, because he’s been a model blueprint for rehab as far as what he’s done. We followed it to the letter of the law. Matt, if anything, has been above and beyond.”
Wieters will begin the season on the disabled list after undergoing the procedure on June 17. He’s the only member of the 25-man roster to have ligament-reconstructive surgery while Showalter has managed the Orioles.
“I cannot believe you just jinxed us like that. That’s my first thought,” Showalter said.
“I don’t think there’s anything we’re more proud of, but it’s fleeting and you think you’ve got all the answers. It’s not a normal thing to do to your arm and shoulder. What I want to have happen is, if guys do get it, it’s because something happened somewhere else. They’re extremely precious commodities to us and the way that we have to do it, we have to keep the health of our people.”