More notes, in-game observations
*Brian Roberts continues to look good this spring, making a nice play to backhand Joe Mather’s ball and save a run on an inning-ending play in the second. Roberts, coming off a 3-for-3 game on Friday, singled in his first at-bat. Wilson Betemit also made a really nice play at third base to rob Carlos Ruis of a hit.
*Matt Wieters hit his first spring homer, a three-run shot off Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick, with Conor Jackson following with a solo shot. Jackson has homered twice while Wieters has five RBIs. Jason Pridie also went yard as part of a seven-run fifth inning.
*Starter Chris Tillman went 2 2/3 innings in his second spring game, allowing two runs –both on Michael Young’s homer– and striking out three. Tillman was charged with four hits and exited after a two-out walk to Lance Nix put him at his pitch count. As for Young’s homer, it looked like Trayvon Robinson had a shot at it in left field, but just carried out. There’s some strong wind today that has helped both sides.
“I made a bad pitch either way,” Tillman said when asked if he thought the Young homer was wind-aided. “I guess I deserved it, but fortunately, I finished a little bit better down in the zone. “I think the wind’s blowing for both teams.”
Miguel Gonzalez, who ascended from Minor League camp to the big-league rotation last year, pitched two scoreless innings in his Grapefruit League debut, allowing one baserunner on a walk to Cesar Hernandez. Hernandez was caught stealing second base and Gonzalez cruised the rest of the outing.
*Asked his opinion on, Orioles Rule 5 Draft pick T.J. McFarland so far, manager Buck Showalter said: “It’s tough you get a guy in Rule 5 and you get some things you like about him that he’s shown, his track record and stuff and then when he comes in here you start tinkering and changing a lot of things. Before his last outing, [pitching coach Rick Adair] had a couple things he wanted to do with him, he felt a little out of whack. I could tell he was a little frustrated. He was better than what he showed statistically, so to speak. I thought his last outing was a little better. I’m anxious to see how he is next time out. Got a couple things they tweaked to get him back to where he was. This guy’s a good pitcher.”
McFarland has appeared in three games and allowed three runs on four hits and three walks in 2 1/3 innings.