The alternative, of course, would have been one more 96 mph fastball, since Ibanez was not close to the first one and watched the second slice across the outside half of the plate.

"That's one way to go," Wieters said, "but I thought, if we make the same pitch [as the 0-1 slider], we're getting him out. If you throw the fastball and he gets the bat on it at all, it might get through the infield. The slider is a little more dangerous if you don't throw it where you want it, but if Stropy throws it the way I know he can, it's a strikeout."

Rotation stays in line

Showalter said his rotation for the series in Toronto, which starts Friday, will stay in line. Tommy Hunter will pitch the opener against the Blue Jays, Jason Hammel will pitch Saturday and Brian Matusz will pitch Sunday afternoon. Showalter said he was waiting to see how Hunter, who had had back issues early in the spring, responded from his scheduled bullpen session Tuesday.

"We were waiting to see how Tommy's work day went. … It went well. I just wanted to make sure he was physically fine," Showalter said about Hunter, who threw seven scoreless innings in his first start this season. "There's a lot of me that wants him to be just like he was last time."

Around the horn

First pitch was delayed 20 minutes by a rainstorm that began when the national anthem started. … Showalter said he still believes Brian Roberts (concussion) will join the club for part of its first road trip so that he can be with the team in the dugout. He remains on the disabled list, and there is no date set for his return. … Yankees closer Mariano Rivera's save Tuesday gave him 39 at Camden Yards, tying him with Randy Myers for second most in stadium history. Jorge Julio holds the Camden Yards record with 43. … Showalter said catcher Taylor Teagarden (back) is working out on a treadmill in Sarasota. No timetable has been announced for his return. ... Jake Arrieta will pitch April 16 at the Chicago White Sox on regular rest. That pushes Wei-Yin Chen back to April 17, allowing him six days' rest between starts. … Norfolk blew a seven-run lead in the ninth inning Wednesday and lost to Gwinnett, 14-12, in 11 innings. The losing pitcher was lefty Dontrelle Willis, who walked one batter and had to leave in mid-count against a second because he tweaked his left forearm. Tides infielder Steve Tolleson replaced Willis — the second pitching appearance of Tolleson's career. Outfielder Xavier Avery hit his first Triple-A homer in the game. ... Dylan Bundy, the Orioles' top pick in last year's draft, struck out six of the nine batters he faced Wednesday night in his second pro start for Low-A Delmarva. He pitched three scoreless innings and now has thrown six scoreless, hitless frames while striking out 12 of 18 batters in two games for the Shorebirds. He struck out the final five he faced Wednesday.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

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Baltimore Sun reporter Peter Schmuck contributed to this article.

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