SARASOTA, Fla. -- Trayvon Robinson's two-run homer in the eighth inning gave the Orioles a 5-3 win over the Twins in their Grapefruit League opener at Ed Smith Stadium.
Robinson, who is competing for a reserve spot in a cluttered outfield mix, took Twins left-hander Tyler Robertson over the left-field fence. Russ Canzler led off the inning with a walk.
"He’s going to get an opportunity here to show what he can do," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Robinson, 25. "Switch-hitting guys who can play three [outfield] spots are hard to find, especially at his age. He’s still a young man.”
Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop drove in the game-tying run in the seventh inning with a one-out single to right off Shairon Martis, scoring Yamaico Navarro, who doubled in his first at-bat of the game.
The first game of the Grapefruit League season is last before Schoop leaves the team to join the Netherlands' World Baseball Classic team, which opens the tournament in Taiwan.
Clete Thomas’ two-out infield single plated the go-ahead run in the sixth off Orioles Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland, when he hit a grounder up the middle that Schoop scooped behind the second base bag but threw wildly to first.
Josh Willingham blasted a two-run homer to left field off Orioles right-hander Tommy Hunter in the third inning to give Minnestoa the lead.
Catcher Matt Wieters’s one-out double in the second set up the Orioles’ first run. Two batters later, J.J. Hardy plated Wieters with a sacrifice fly to center to open the scoring.
Nate McLouth's one-out double in the fifth went over Brian Dinkleman's head in right, scoring Manny Machado, whose beat the tag at the plate. But Schoop, following Machado closely, was tagged out at home.
Orioles left-hander Zach Britton and right-hander Jake Arrieta pitched scoreless first and second innings, respectively.
Britton, who didn’t pitch in a game at all last spring because he was dealing with left shoulder impingement, threw his first Grapfruit League inning since 2011.
“I haven’t pitched in spring training in a whole year,” Britton said.” It’s nice to get out there. I felt pretty good. You build off this one and go get ‘em the next time.”
First baseman Chris Davis has made three fine defensive plays, including one diving stop down the first line and a lunging backhanded grab into the hole. Davis also has singles in his first two at-bats.
"He’s had a good week of work down here and today they hit some balls that he could impact the game on defensively and he did," Showalter said of Davis. "The ability to play first base at a high level is there."
Orioles top prospect Dylan Bundy struggled in his Grapefruit League debut. In the fifth inning, He struck out Darin Mastroianni on three pitches but then allowed back-to-back singles to Eduardo Escobar and Brandon Boggs. He walked Chris Parmelee on a full-count pitch to load the bases, but struck out Chris Colabello looking.
"My arm felt good," said Bundy, whose fastball sat at 93-94 mph. "Everything felt fine, so that’s a plus. The first batter was good, but other than that I was a little wild at times. I kind of got behind in the count a lot 1-0 so it didn’t leave me a lot of options in spring training to throw breaking stuff. I got out of the inning so that’s important."
Around the horn
Outfielder Nolan Reimold wasn’t in Saturday’s starting lineup, but Showalter said he’s slated to start Sunday’s road game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin. … Kevin Gausman, the Orioles’ first-round pick in 2012, will make his Grapefruit League debut Sunday. Right-hander Jair Jurrjens will start that game.. ... Showalter indicated that with 29 pitchers in camp, starters Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen could get work in minor league camp to build their innings. … Left-hander Brian Matusz will start Monday’s home game against the New York Yankees. He will likely go one inning. He will be followed by Mark Hendrickson, Daniel McCutchen and Pedro Strop. … Jackson (lower back stiffness) returned to team workouts Saturday and is scheduled to make the trip to play Sunday. … Britton and Arrieta will each start on Wednesday’s split-squad date. One will start the day road game against the Yankees in Tampa, the other the home night game against the Boston Red Sox.… The Orioles’ minor leaguers will play two games at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg — on March 10 against the Philadelphia Phillies and March 14 against the Atlanta Braves. Tickets for those games at $10.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun