To paraphrase a famous poem, the outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Baltimore Orioles today. Not at the very beginning of the game at least. Jayson Aquino gave up two RBI-doubles in the first inning, and the O’s appeared destined for a loss to Pittsburgh. But that was all Aquino would surrender, and Oriole bats took it from there. Aquino’s line: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 3 K.
But that rough first inning for Aquino was the pinnacle of Pittsburgh’s day. With a runner on base in the last of the first, Trey Mancini smacked a two-run homer to tie the game. The rest is history – no, really…the rest is history! Manny Machado came to the plate next, and suddenly after his solo homer the Birds held the lead. That brought Jonathan Schoop to the plate, and he smacked a solo shot of his own.
When the smoke cleared, the O’s led 4-2 – after back-to-back-to-back home runs. And Oriole bats kept the pressure on. They would load the bases in the third, scoring an additional run on a Chance Sisco walk. Anthony Santander‘s RBI-single would give the O’s a 6-2 lead, and Colby Rasmus would blow it right open with a two-RBI single. That would give the Birds an 8-2 lead.
Tough to come back from, if you look at it from Pittsburgh’s perspective. But perhaps we saw a preview of how potent this Orioles offense can be this year. This was supposed to be what we saw last year, but it never really happened. Needless to say, they came into this game with a balanced offensive attack that fired on all cylinders.
The O’s would net two more runs in that third inning on sacrifice ground outs and fly balls by Machado and Jones respectively. Santander would add an RBI-single an inning later, and Pittsburgh would add three more runs over the course of the middle/later innings. By far, this was the best day of the spring for Oriole bats.
Again, the hope is that this foreshadows what the Orioles see out of their offense this season. We saw contributions up and down the lineup, which is what you want to see. Jayson Aquino on the run support (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
It’s great to have support like that. What you’ve got to do is keep putting zeros up and I tried to put the team in a good position.
The Orioles will pull a split squad day tomorrow with the B Team heading to Fort Myers to play Boston, and the A Team taking on Philadelphia in Sarasota in the evening. Andrew Cashner will make his Orioles’ spring training debut in the nightcap, and he’ll be opposed by Philadelphia’s Nick Pivetta. Game time is set for just after 6 PM.