Baltimore Orioles defeat Philadelphia in Grapefruit League finale

The Baltimore Orioles were victorious over Philadelphia in their Florida Grapefruit League finale this afternoon in Clearwater, FL, in a game that most definitely resembled week four of the NFL preseason. Nestor Cortes Jr. got the start, and is still unsure of his status with regard to the final roster. Cortes’ line: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K.

I wouldn’t even know whether the fact that Cortes only went three innings is good or bad in that sense. I know that the Orioles really like him, and in fact he’s had a good spring. Perhaps the Birds saw all they needed to see. But that in theory could go either way. The lone run given up by Cortes was Hoskins’ solo homer in the second as Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead.

The Birds would tie it in the fifth on Anthony Santander‘s RBI-double. The O’s would later take the lead in that fifth inning as Luis Sardinas grounded into a double-play, which netted a run. However as I said, this is a game that resembled week four of the NFL preseason. Lots of guys working hard for roster spots – on both sides. Philadelphia would take the lead back at 3-2 on Franco’s two-run homer.

But if you’re keeping score at home, the Orioles’ young guys scrapping for a roster spot were better than Philadelphia’s at the end. The Birds would tie it at three on Brugman’s RBI-single in the seventh, and then take the lead on a Reyes walk with the bases loaded. The teams would trade runs a couple of other times, but the net result was a 6-5 Orioles’ victory – in an endless affair that didn’t seem to want to end.

The win ran the Orioles’ overall record in Grapefruit League play to 17-12-2. That puts the O’s in the top half of the standings in Florida this year, again for those who pay attention to such things. Now the real work begins for the coaching staff. Time will tell who makes this roster and who doesn’t.

The Orioles will return to Sarasota this evening and formally break camp tomorrow morning. They’ll fly to Norfolk, VA where they’ll take on the Norfolk Tides tomorrow at Harbor Park at 3 PM, after which they’ll return to Baltimore. The game with the Tides amounts to a glorified intrasquad scrimmage, and it won’t count towards the Grapefruit League standings – for what that’s worth. They’ll work out at Camden Yards on Wednesday, before Thursday’s Opening Day game against the Minnesota Twins.

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