Reimold exits, Hammel talks about his outing

Nolan Reimold hit his first home run of the spring on Friday afternoon, but mysteriously exited the game after just two innings.

Reimold, who had last season cut short with neck surgery, has been a full-go in Orioles camp although the strength in his left arm is still coming back. He remained on the bench after being replaced by Jason Pridie in the top of the third inning –which indicates that it wasn’t anything serious– and the team did not have an immediate update on Reimold’s health.

Starting in left field for the third game this spring, Reimold hit a two-run shot off Pirates right-hander James McDonald, which cleared the picnic area in left field, for his first hit in the second inning.

***

Jason Hammel tossed two scoreless innings in his first spring start against the Pirates, striking out three, and said afterwards it was nice pitching with two good knees.

“I made a goal for me in the offseason to be able to come out and pitch without a brace,” said Hammel, who had a right knee injury that hampered him nearly all of last season. “So, check that one off the list.”

“I can feel my lower half, it’s not more of just try to build momentum to get towards the plate because I didn’t have the backside push. I felt outstanding.”

Hammel ended up with 39 pitches, 27 strikes, and he got ahead 0-2 on five of the seven batters he faced.

“That was my goal,” Hammel said of having good command early. “I told [catcher Matt Wieters lots of fastballs and then with the lefties we were going to work changeup and curveballs, things like that. The only scuffle I can say was probably the four-seamer. I wasn’t quite on top like I should be. But good sinker and everything else was pretty much right where it should be.”

Hammel was also encouraged with the offense, namely watching second baseman Brian Roberts lead off the game with a solo homer, his first home run of any kind since April 13, 2011.

“It’s good to see him back,” Hammel said of Roberts, who hasn’t played a full season since 2009.  “It’s very frustrating for a guy who wants to be out there and can’t be out there. I’ve been through that. He was [sidelined] for a much longer time, I don’t how he got through that, but good to see him out there for sure.”

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