O's offense continues to struggle vs. Jays

DUNEDIN, Fla. - The Baltimore Orioles are playing .500 ball in spring training. It's not because of their hitting.

On Monday, for the second straight game they were held to a run and just three hits as they lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 before 4,221.

It's the third straight game they've been held to a single run. The Orioles have scored more than four runs just once.

"I don't put a whole lot of stock in it right now," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I'd like to have 15 hits every day."

The Orioles are batting just .201, and though the lineup he took on the 90-minute trip had few recognizable names, they haven't hit well yet anywhere.

Endy Chavez, who's batting .385, led off and Robert Andino, with a .214 average, batted second.

The rest of the lineup was full of players likely to start the season in Norfolk: Nick Johnson, Joe Mahoney, Jai Miller, Ryan Flaherty, Steve Tolleson, Scott Beerer and John Hester.

Of those, Flaherty is the most likely to stick just because he's a Rule 5 draft choice, and would have to be offered back to the Chicago Cubs if he didn't make the roster.

Wei-Yin Chen allowed a run and two hits in three innings in his second start. In his first, he allowed just a hit in two innings. He walked one and struck out two.

"I didn't do a lot of adjustments today, but it was a little hot for me," Chen said through his translator.

"The most important thing for me today was that I lost my tempo in the first two innings and in the third one, I felt really good because everything was comfortable."

In his second start, Chen faced a starting lineup of Blue Jays that didn't include Brett Lawrie (.579 in seven games) or Jose Bautista (.400 in five games). But those he faced all have substantial major league experience.

"There are so many different things he's being exposed to," Showalter said. "Now, he's pitched on the road."

NOT FOR OPENERS: Showalter isn't ready to name his Opening Day starter, and he's not concerned about it.

"I don't spend much time on it because I don't have to," he said. "It's not a topic of conversation for us at all."

The opener is on April 6, and if Showalter kept Chen pitching every five days, he would pitch then.

"It will be somebody, I bet you," Showalter said.

Besides Chen, Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel and Tommy Hunter are possibilities. Arrieta started the home opener last year.

INJURY UPDATE: Hunter (back) and Zach Britton (left shoulder) have been scheduled to pitch in minor league games this week. Hunter will pitch four innings on Friday and Britton two innings on Saturday.

Tsuyoshi Wada (left elbow) threw in the bullpen Monday morning. He'll throw a simulated game on Wednesday and should pitch in a game either Sunday or Monday, pitching coach Rick Adair said.

The Orioles have split-squad games on Sunday, and though next Monday is a scheduled day off for the team, a few of the pitchers will throw in a minor league game.

Jim Johnson (back) and Willie Eyre (groin) are scheduled to pitch in Wednesday's game. Darren O'Day, who strained his groin on Sunday, remains sidelined. Matt Lindstrom (back) is close to returning to action.

Catcher Taylor Teagarden had an MRI Monday morning on his strained lower back.

Nolan Reimold, who was hit by a pitch in his jaw last Friday, will play on Tuesday, Showalter said.

COMING UP: The Orioles host Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Jason Hammel, Brad Bergesen and Troy Patton are scheduled to pitch. David Price, Matt Moore, Burke Badenhop, Wilking Rodriguez, Albert Suarez and Ryan Reid will pitch for the Rays.

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