Baltimore Orioles fall to Minnesota in Ft. Myers

The Baltimore Orioles’ four-game spring training win streak was snapped this afternoon with a 9-8 loss in Ft. Myers to Minnesota. As has been covered ad hoc, these types of caddywampus games happen in spring. But the good news for the Birds is that starter Hunter Harvey had a good outing at the beginning. Harvey’s line: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K.

The O’s got on the board early in the second inning with a solo homer by Danny Valencia. Incidentally, Valencia has a clause in his contract which allows him to opt out on a certain date if he’s not in the big leagues. So odds of Valencia being on someone’s major league roster on Opening Day are pretty good.

Minnesota would tie the score with a solo homer of their own in the bottom of that inning, however the Birds took the lead right back. Manny Machado‘s two-RBI single in the third gave them a 3-1 lead. However this was a back-and-forth affair, with both teams never letting the other get out of range. Buxton’s RBI-double in the last of the third brought them back to within one at 3-2. Again, these types of games happen in the spring.

However the O’s thought that they had broken it open in the fourth. Santander smacked a solo homer, and Caleb Joseph‘s RBI-single gave the Orioles a 5-2 lead. But keep in mind that Minnesota’s one of these small ball teams that’s given the Orioles fits over the years. In the fifth they scored on a sac fly-RBI with the bases loaded, an RBI-single, and an RBI-double.

And that right there shows you the difference in philosophies in the various divisions. From my standpoint, a sac fly-RBI with the bases loaded is akin to almost failing. With the bags juiced you need to get a lot more than that. But Minnesota’s attitude is that it’s just another run. And they’re right. I still think it’s more efficient to get them all in one fatal swoop, however one run leads to another…which leads to another one.

When the smoke cleared, the Birds trailed 7-5. However Joseph would smack another RBI-double in the sixth, and Craig Gentry an RBI-single. One inning later Pedro Alvarez would add an RBI-double of his own, and suddenly the O’s held an 8-7 lead. However two Minnesota runs in the seventh would end up doing them in, and the Birds fell 9-8 in Ft. Myers.

Several of the Orioles’ regulars made this trip, and many others will be on the road trip tomorrow. They were given the option of picking one of these two games in which to play. Admittedly this is a bit of a strange week because they had the day off yesterday, two road games mid-week, a home game on Thursday, and then again on the road Friday. This followed by back-to-back home games this weekend.

The Orioles travel back to Port Charlotte tomorrow to take on the Tampa Rays. Mike Wright gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Blake Snell. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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