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O's lose, 2-1 in ninth, on hit by pitch; Showalter speaks on several topics, including Lee

A long day of baseball for the Orioles ended about a half hour ago when pitching prospect Wynn Pelzer was ruled to have hit Yamaico Navarro with a pitch with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. That gave the Boston Red Sox a 2-1 win at City of Palms Park.

It appeared that the ball hit Navarro's bat and deflected toward the Orioles' dugout, but plate umpire Tim Timmons ruled otherwise, calling it a hit-by-pitch and awarding Navarro first base. Orioles manager Buck Showalter had a brief conversation with Timmons after he made the call, but he didn't exactly mount an argument, as you'd expect in a spring training game.

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"I asked him what he had," Showalter said of his conversation with Timmons. "It sounded like bat all the way from where we were. You see a ball ricochet all the way to the dugout, but that's not [important]."

What was important to Showalter was an otherwise solid performance from several of the Orioles' unheralded pitchers. Showalter acknowledged that starter Ryan Drese elevated some pitches, while praising the work of Mike Ballard and Armando Gabino. Gabino struck out three and allowed one hit in two scoreless innings. Ballard also struck out three in two scoreless innings, including Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz back-to-back.

Showalter on Gabino: "[Gabino] really had a good slider tonight. He's going to kind of live and die with that. He's a guy that can pitch with his slider the majority of time. He's got that kind of slider. He actually has better command with his slider than his fastball."

The Orioles managed just five hits, and Josh Bell had only one of them, but he did smoke three balls right at Boston players.

"Josh swung the bat real well tonight," Showalter said. "If we can get him to take the emotion out of his at-bats, he's a pretty good player. That's what we talked about last year, take the emotion out of the at-bat and let the game come to you. That's what we're trying to do with [Robert] Andino. Tonight was about as calm as [Bell's] been."

Showalter also addressed the positive results of the MRI on Derrek Lee's right wrist, but continued to say that there is no timeline to get the veteran first baseman in games.

"We expected that," he said. "It was just a little follow-up. Let it quiet back down and start it up again. You can't really put a timeframe on when he's going to get back in the flow. It's kind of what we expected, but we still like to have the results back and have it be what you hope it's going to be and what you think it's going to be."

And finally, after playing two split-squad games in a three-day span, Showalter will be happy for things to return to normal. The Orioles play tomorrow night in Bradenton against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"45 innings in three days? That's a lot of baseball," he said. "Hopefully, we can get our feet back on the ground tomorrow. It's been a hectic schedule the last three days."

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