The Baltimore Orioles got off to a fast start in the grapefruit league with an offensive slugfest over the Tampa Bay Rays, 12-2. Baltimore combined to hit a total of six home runs, with Josh Bell and Rhyne Hughes each hitting two apiece.
The Baltimore Orioles first spring training game was headlined by multiple stories. The Orioles lineup had a few new faces in it, along with a very familiar one. In his first spring training with the Baltimore Orioles, Josh Bell hit 2 home runs; causing even more stir in the Baltimore media. Even more impressive is that Bell hit a home run from each side of the plate. Bell’s first home run came off of left-handed pitcher Matt Garza in the 3rd inning to give the Orioles an early 1-0 lead in the third. Josh Bell finished up his offensive onslaught, when he connected on a pitch from Heath Phillips in the 6th inning, finishing the day 2 home runs and 3RBI’s.
Baltimore fans’ saw the return of Miguel Tejada to the Orioles, and his transition from short stop to third base. Like other great short stops before Tejada, Tejada is making the move to third. A move Orioles fans are familiar with when Cal Ripken made the move years ago. Yesterday’s game also revealed what Orioles fans can expect in Tejada’s transition. In his first put out opportunity, Tejada successfully converted the out; however in his next opportunity Tejada committed a fielding error. Although, Tejada might struggle a bit at third early on, the former gold glove winner should settle in comfortably not to long into the season.
Jeremy Guthrie gave the Orioles two solid innings allowing one hit and one walk, with two strikeouts. It was nice to see Guthrie to gain some command on his pitches after a disastrous 2009 season. Because Guthrie did not go the minimal five innings, LHP, Will Ohman was given the win. Baltimore’s only hiccups out of the bullpen were from Dennis Sarfate and David Hernandez, both of whom are vying for a position in the Orioles bullpen. In total Baltimore sent seven different pitchers to the mound Wednesday.
Baltimore will travel to Tampa Bay’s spring training home today, and the first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 ET. The Orioles will be led by Brain Matusz on the mound and will likely put together a lineup of guys that did not see any action yesterday.