Home runs haven't been plentiful for the Orioles this spring, but they do much better when gusting South Florida winds aren't blowing in their faces. Corey Patterson hit his second homer in two days yesterday, after Aubrey Huff connected in the same inning. Washington Nationals starter Jason Bergmann faced three more batters and left after throwing 92 pitches in 3 2/3 innings in the Orioles' 6-3 victory in Washington.
Bad and good
Catcher Paul Bako got off to a rough start yesterday when his passed ball allowed the Nationals' first run to score in the first inning. He reached up for a fastball from Adam Loewen and couldn't pull it down. Bako was charged with a passed ball in the fifth when a pitch from Steve Trachsel scooted past him. But he lined a run-scoring double to right field in the second inning that tied the game after Huff and Jay Gibbons walked, singled in the fourth and singled again in the fifth to drive in another run.
Bako had the RBI opportunity in the fifth only because the Nationals failed to turn a double play. Ray King entered the game with one out and got Gibbons to ground to first baseman Larry Broadway, who threw to second for the force. King forgot to cover first, however, and Gibbons reached safely. Shortstop Cristian Guzman's throwing error further extended the inning, and Bako delivered.
The Orioles will hold a workout at Camden Yards today, in conjunction with their annual FanFest that was rescheduled from January, before boarding a flight to Minnesota, where they'll open the season tomorrow night against the Twins.