Wrapping up a 16-4 victory

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Brad Brach pitched the ninth inning today for the Orioles and retired the Phillies in order with a strikeout. However, he wasn’t credited with a save.

Must be some obscure rule about 12-run leads.

The Orioles erupted for 21 hits today in a 16-4 victory over the Phillies. Let’s see if they left anything in the tank for Tuesday’s game against the Twins in Sarasota.

Did Showalter enjoy watching the offensive fireworks? You figure it out.

“You bet your sweet (butt),” he said. “Anybody who says, ‘Oh, it’s just spring training,’ you like to see them have one of those days. They’ve been working hard. Get a return for it. You bet.”

Chris Davis had four RBIs and came within a triple of the cycle. I asked him this morning about having to wear his gray pants again after playing yesterday in Bradenton, and he said the trip to Clearwater was his idea. I assumed that he was kidding.

Davis-running-high-five-gray.jpgI was wrong.

“He talked me into coming over today,” Showalter said. “He wasn’t on the original travel (roster), but he came in this morning and said, ‘I’d really like to go over and get some at-bats.’ I think John (Russell) or someone said, ‘You know (Cole) Hamels is pitching?’ And he said, ‘So?’ And it wasn’t any disrespect to Hamels. He said, ‘I just need some at-bats, need to see the ball.’

“He’s actually tied for the team lead in plate appearances now. I’m glad he came.”

Steve Pearce homered for the third straight day and is 10-for-24 this spring.

“Isn’t it funny how much things change?” Showalter said. “We aren’t even talking about where he fits, can he make the club, can he not? Now I’m concerned about overusing him and saving his bullets for the season. Just a reminder about how fickle we all are and what an inexact science this is.

“Anybody who comes in with some schtick and has all the answers on how to evaluate evaluate stuff... You try to evaluate Steve Pearce. Yeah, he’s doing well.”

Jimmy Paredes went 2-for-3 with five RBIs and three runs scored. He’s 9-for-21 this spring.

“You talk about Steve, you’ve got to talk about Paredes,” Showalter said. “I tell you what I’m most impressed with is his improvement defensively. I think that’s probably been the most pleasant surprise in camp is his defensive play down here compared to some of the challenges he had last year. He’s been good. He worked hard. He’s made just about every play. And we know he’ll swing the bat.”

Jonah Heim caught Brach in the ninth.

“I’m impressed with Jonah,” Showalter said. “I think Jonah can catch for us. He can play. I’ve been trying to get him an inning here and there. You look at how little baseball he’s actually played coming out of a Buffalo high school.

“I swear from the back he looks like (Matt) Wieters, doesn’t he?”

bundy-sidebar.jpgDylan Bundy had a rough outing today before the Orioles optioned him to Double-A Bowie, but Showalter said it wasn’t a health issue.

“He kind of looked like Hunter (Harvey) a little bit,” Showalter said. “Both of those guys got everything out of this camp that they can get and now it’s time for them to get stretched out and take their work days and get ready to start. And they both know it.

“I was telling Dylan what a difference it is this year right now compared to last year. He’s just getting ready to go pitch in Bowie soon. That’s exciting for him. He told me, ‘I can’t tell you how nice it feels not to be in Florida in three weeks. He’ll have some moments early on this season where he’ll take a step forward and half a step back, but he’ll hold himself to a high standard. I think by June, July you’ll see a pretty good product.”

Jonathan Schoop told Showalter that today marked the first time he’s played on the same field as older brother Sharlon.

Miguel Gonzalez retired the first 10 batters before allowing two runs on four hits in the fourth.

“Miguel was good,” Showalter said. “Did he pitch today? That was a long time ago.”

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