Wade LeBlanc made the start this afternoon for the Baltimore Orioles at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter against the Miami Marlins. The veteran Leblanc is making his case to be on the Orioles’ final roster that heads north at the end of the spring. And his case today was fairly convincing. LeBlanc’s line: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K.
While LeBlanc surrendered a run, he did so on a sac fly-RBI. So in effect, when he found himself in a jam he was able to minimize the damage. And that’s one of the marks of a serious pitcher in this league. They’ll get themselves in trouble here and there. The good ones get themselves out of trouble.
The Orioles took a 2-0 lead in the second inning when Pat Valaika smacked a two-run homer. One inning later Andrew Velazquez laid down a bunt that ended up doubling the Orioles’ lead. With runners at first and second Velazquez laid down a bunt, and Miami catcher Cervelli tried to field the ball and throw the runner out at third base. However he threw the ball into foul territory down the left field line, allowing both runners to score. The aforementioned sac fly-RBI by Miami’s Anderson would come in the last of that third inning.
Ironically that’s a moment in a game where the Orioles aren’t going to want Velazquez to lay down a bunt. There’s no reason to do so at that stage of the game. But Velazquez is trying desperately to make the team. And he felt that was a good way to get himself noticed. So he did what he did.
The Orioles unfortunately were also hurt by Miami second baseman Villar – the Birds’ former second baseman. He smacked a two-run homer in the fifth, bringing the Orioles’ lead to 4-3. Mason McCoy added a sac fly-RBI in the ninth, and the Birds defeated Miami 5-3.
While we didn’t see the starting team, it’s good to see that the O’s lost yesterday but immediately began what could be another winning streak this afternoon. That sort of mindset helps in terms of having a good season.
The O’s return home to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota tomorrow as the Minnesota Twins come to town. Brandon Bailey gets the start tomorrow for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s TBD. Game time is set for just after 3 PM.