SARASOTA, FLA. — The Orioles' four-game Grapefruit League winning streak was snapped today when the St. Louis Cardinals scored three runs in the ninth inning to win 8-6.
The Orioles took a one-run lead into the ninth, but reliever Chaz Roe gave up three runs, including a two-run homer to Cardinals' prospect Randal Grichuk.
Adam Jones, who had one homer this spring entering the game, hit two on Sunday – a solo shot in the first and a three-run blast in a four-run fourth to provide most of the Orioles' offense.
Starter Bud Norris was shaky again in another spring start, but he minimized the damage. He allowed four baserunners in the first inning – including two walks – but Steve Clevenger threw out a would-be basestealer and Norris struck out the final two batters of the frame.
"You are going to be in a lot of jams (in the regular season) and when you can really bear down and get out of those situations, I did that time in and time out last year and that's really what you've got to do," said Norris, who has allowed 12 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings in four spring outings. "Because there are a lot of close games and sometimes one run can really change it."
Norris allowed three runs (two earned) in four innings on three hits and four walks while striking out five Cardinals. He threw 69 pitches, 40 for strikes. His big mistake was a two-run homer to Matt Adams on a 3-0 pitch in the third inning.
"I wanted to see a little bit better results today. I was kind of upset with myself, 3-2 walk and 3-0 fastball that he hit over the fence. I'm not necessarily happy with that," Norris said. "But (pitching coach Dave Wallace) came out shortly thereafter and said, 'You look fine mechanically, the competitive nature is going to come.' "
Norris likely has two starts remaining to improve on his spring training struggles.
The Orioles dropped to 8-13. The announced crowd of 8,535 was the largest at Ed Smith Stadium. It was the ninth sellout in 10 home games this spring.