The Baltimore Orioles entered today’s game against Tampa at Ed Smith Stadium looking what’s called a bullpen game (during the regular season) square in the face. Cesar Valdez got the start, although I wouldn’t expect him to be in contention for a rotation spot come the regular season. However that aside, he pitched a decent outing. Valdez’s line: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K.
Tampa got on the board first on an RBI-single by Weddle in the first inning. And as is indicated by the above stat line, that was the only run Valdez surrendered. For his money, Valdez just wants to be on the roster, and is willing to be in whatever role the team needs (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports, by way of team translator):
If they come to me and specify a role for me, that would be great. I’ll be happy and I’ll roll with it and try to do my job the best I can. All I need is the opportunity to pitch.
However with a runner on in the last of the third, Trey Mancini came to bat. Mancini of course is still in his return to glory mode so to speak, following his cancer last year. And he put the O’s in the lead with a two-run homer. Mancini continues his excellent spring, where he’s hitting .342.
But the O’s weren’t done yet in the third. Following a base hit, Maikel Franco came to bat. He also followed with a two-run homer, putting the Orioles on top. 4-1. Tampa would net runs in the fourth on an RBI-double and a fielder’s choice, however Oriole pitching held strong the rest of the afternoon, leading to a 4-3 win.
Before the game the Orioles announced plans to build a 22.5-acre facility in the Dominican Republic – Guerra, D.R. This should help the Orioles in Latin America in terms of finding and signing players, and construction should begin in the coming months. The facility should be completed within 12-16 months.
Tomorrow evening the O’s head to Fort Myers to take on the Boston Red Sox at Jet Blue Park (Fenway South). Dean Kremer gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Nathan Eovaldi. Game time is set for just after 6 PM.