SARASOTA, Fla. – Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts hit a pair of doubles and scored two runs, and left fielder Nate McLouth added a two-out, pinch-hit double in the fourth inning to give the Orioles a 5-1 win over the Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium.
"[Roberts] put some good swings on the ball today," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Brian is going to be as good as he’s capable of being for us this year. We’ll see, because he’s got all the other part of it in place. He’s getting there. I’m not going to get too over the top with the playing time but he wants to and you can see how engaged he is.
Orioles starter Brian Matusz, competing for a rotation spot this spring after sparkling in the bullpen late in the season, tossed two scoreless innings in his spring debut at the Orioles improved to 3-0 in the Grapefruit League.
Matusz allowed back-to-back singles to open the game – an infield single by Brett Gardner and a Jayson Nix bloop single to right – but finished his outing by retiring the final five batters he faced.
“It was nice to get out there and get the first one out of the way, kind of get in the rhythm again," Matusz said." It’s been a while since I’ve been a starter. It’s nice to work on the routine again and try and find that. ... [I] threw some changeups, got a couple of groundballs out of it."
Nick Markakis, hitting out of the DH spot for the second time this spring, also had two hits, including an RBI single in the third that scored Roberts.
Roberts pulled a double down the right-field line off Yankees starter Vidal Nuno in his first at-bat in the first inning. Two batters later, Roberts scored on Adam Jones’ two-out double into the left-center field gap.
Russ Canzler’s single in the sixth scored Trayvon Robinson and gave the Orioles a 5-0 lead. Robinson led off the inning with a single, stole second and moved to third on a ground out.
Robinson is 3-for-6 in three spring games with a double, home run and a stolen base.
"Tray is playing with a lot of energy," Showalter said. "He knows he got an opportunity here in big league camp and he’s going to get a chance. And so far he’s taken advantage of it. He stole second base on a 1.15[-second time] to the plate. That’s hard to do."
Non-roster invitee Mike Wright tossed two scoreless innings in relief. Tommy Hunter, Pedro Strop, Mark Hendrickson and UMBC product Zach Clark each pitched a scoreless frame for the Orioles.
Walter Ibarra’s two-out RBI single in the ninth off reliever Adam Russell ended the Orioles’ shutout bid.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun