Right-hander Mike Wright delivered one of the best performances by an Orioles starting pitcher this spring on Thursday night, pitching five shutout innings and giving up just four hits in a split-squad 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins at Ed Smith Stadium.
Two days after Tyler Wilson turned in a big performance against the Toronto Blue Jays to keep himself in the conversation for a major league job, Wright stepped up and turned in the longest outing by any Orioles pitcher this spring.
He allowed a couple of hits with one out in the first inning, but got out of trouble when Carlos Quentin grounded into a double play. He also gave up a pair of hits in the fourth before Byung Ho Park fouled out to end the inning.
Wright said that he has felt good in each of his last three starts, but was pleased to get some impressive results, especially after giving up five runs in his previous start against the Yankees at Legends Field.
"Absolutely,'' he said. "Like I said before in my last two starts, that could easily have been the same results, because I felt good, I felt like I was locating well. All my pitches felt pretty good, so I was happy to finally get the results in this game."
The five scoreless innings took a big chunk out of Wright's spring ERA, dropping it from 9.45 to a much more palatable 5.40.
Jones' big night
The Orioles took the lead when Adam Jones launched his third home run of the exhibition season to lead off the bottom of the fourth. Batting in the second slot in the order, Jones also singled in the first inning and lined a double into the gap in right-center in the sixth to drive in the second run of the game.
Right fielder Mark Trumbo added an RBI single in that sixth inning to give the O's a three-run lead and Michael Almanzar tacked on another run with an RBI single in the seventh.
Outfielder Hyun Soo Kim continued to swing the bat well on Thursday night. He hit a shot in his first at-bat that was caught at the warning track and lined a single to left in this third trip. He has now reached base in each of his last six games.