"Based on how I felt (Thursday) I really feel like I'm further ahead than I expected and things have been really good," Berken said. "I really think the best way to say it is, I didn't think about it. I think that's kind of a good gauge in terms of how I felt. I wasn't worried about it and I was pitching like there wasn't an issue."

Berken was clocked in the 92 to 94 range and he mixed his pitches well, incorporating his change-up and curveball into his arsenal.

"He came in [Friday]with a great look," Showalter said. "I can tell you how frustrated he's been with everything. I told him, 'Your wife must have been happy to see the real Jason show up last night,' and he said, 'Yeah.' A little more bounce in his step. (It) looks like we're in the process of getting him back completely."

Orioles beat Red Sox, 6-5

In what was one of the more encouraging signs of the spring so far for the Orioles, right fielder Nick Markakis hit a two-run homer in the third inning against Boston's Clay Buchholz to break a tie in an eventual 6-5 Orioles' win.

It was the first spring homer and second extra base hit for Markakis, who has been limited to just five games while recovering from January abdomen surgery. Of course, that didn't stop teammates from chiding him that it was a wind-aided homer.

"There were some guys kind of semi-rolling their eyes with the wind and he said, 'That would have been a double in Boston. Come on, I am working on my Fenway stroke,'" Showalter said. "It's just good to see him smile and move freer each time he is out there and know that he is getting close."

Adam Jones hit his team-leading third spring homer —a two run shot in the first —and Robert Andino added two RBIs in the win. Jason Hammel started the game for the Orioles but labored through two innings in the Florida heat. He allowed three hits, two walks and two runs while striking out four.

Hardy rests second day with arm soreness

ShortstopJ.J. Hardywas out of the starting lineup for the second consecutive day Friday because he is dealing with right arm and shoulder soreness. Hardy has been receiving treatment for the arm for more than a week and Showalter said it is a typical spring occurrence with his veteran. Hardy wanted to play Friday, but Showalter decided to rest him until Saturday.

"I want to get it resolved, it's taking a tad longer than usual, usually (the soreness) is gone by now," Showalter said. "But it's nothing he couldn't play with."

Other injury updates

Pitcher Alfredo Simon did not throw a bullpen session [Friday]as previously scheduled. Dealing with a sore groin, Simon won't pitch for another "day or two," Showalter said. Outfielder Endy Chavez tweaked his groin Wednesday and has sat out the last two days. It is not considered serious. Tsuyoshi Wada's elbow felt good after his minor-league outing and is expected to throw at least four innings his next time out. Outfielder Jai Miller is dealing with kneecap irritation and will get a couple days off. He has had the condition before and could play with it.

Around the horn

Orioles principal owner Peter G. Angelosattended Friday's game in Sarasota, something he often does one weekend each spring. He sat in the owner's suite. ... Newly signed lefty Dontrelle Willis has thrown a bullpen session and hopes to get into a game soon. … Minor league first baseman Tyler Townsend, a third-round pick in 2009, is dealing with a non-related baseball ailment and will be shut down for seven to 10 days. He likely will start the season in extended spring. … Minor league outfielder Steven Bumbry will try to test his left wrist injury Sunday or Monday. It's possible he may also start the season in extended spring. … Infield prospect Jonathan Schoop has a quad strain and is playing DH, but has not returned to the infield in a minor-league game. … Pat Sajak, of Wheel of Fortune fame, was on the field before the game with his son. Sajak is a longtime Orioles fan.


Baltimore Sun reporter writer Eduardo A. Encina contributed to this article.

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