The Baltimore Orioles welcomed the NY Mets to Ed Smith Stadium this afternoon in the final spring tune up in Grapefruit League play for both team Dylan Bundy got the start for the Orioles, lasting only into the fifth. Bundy looked good in the first inning, but had his struggles as time went on. Bundy’s line: 4.2 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 4 K.
In a game where both teams literally had their bags packed ready to go north, the Birds battled – and struck first. Dwight Smith Jr. got the O’s on the board with a solo home run in the last of the first. Rio Ruiz would follow later in the inning with an RBI-double, and he would later score on a two-run homer by Chris Davis.
Speaking of Davis, he seemed to take a bit of a turn in terms of his production at the plate at the very tail end of spring training. He finished Grapefruit League play hitting .189 – not good by anyone’s standards. But it’s better than last year’s regular season average. And better than earlier in the spring when he was hitting in the .120’s.
However Bundy immediately began the process of giving the lead back. Rosario’s RBI-single in the second cut the lead to 4-1. Conforto would push one across on an RBI-groundout in the third, and later in the inning Ramos’ sac fly-RBI brought New York to within one. However Dwight Smith, who’s had a great spring in the time he’s been with the Orioles, re-extended the lead to two runs, smacking his second solo homer on the day.
Two innings later NcNeil would cut that lead back to one at 5-4 on a solo homer. Two innings after that, Davis’ solo homer tied the game at five for New York. However Zach Vincej‘s solo homer in the last of that seventh inning gave the Orioles the lead once again at 6-5, before Thompson’s solo homer tied it in the eighth. Yet the O’s weren’t going to be denied more runs. Hanser Alberto‘s RBI-single in the eighth gave the Orioles that one-run lead back at 7-6, which would have been the final – if not for Smith’s three-run homer in the ninth. The O’s were an out away from winning – but them’s the breaks, and the O’s fell 9-7.
And THAT, folks, is a wrap for the 2019 Florida Grapefruit League season. The O’s finished the spring 12-17-3, and will now officially break camp, and head home where they’ll have a workout on the field at Camden Yards tomorrow. Of course they’ll be in New York on Thursday, Opening Day. Just as a matter of housekeeping, final rosters aren’t due until noon (EST) on Thursday, March 28th. That’s just about an hour before the Orioles’ game is scheduled to start.
Coming up this week on Birdland Crush, we’ll take a look at what this new era of Orioles’ baseball is, and what it means. I’ll also provide a formal season preview. Thanks for following along this spring, and I look forward to providing the same in-depth game coverage starting again on Thursday in the regular season!