A 47-minute rain delay in the middle of the third inning Friday gave him the perfect opportunity. Reserves Xavier Avery and Steve Tolleson both hit two-run homers off Phillies reliever Ernesto Frieri as part of a five-run fourth inning. Garabez Rosa hit a game-tying homer and Ryan Flaherty scored on a wild pitch in the ninth as the Orioles won their exhibition finale, 8-7, over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Right-hander Vance Worley allowed one run over two innings before the rain delay. After allowing back-to-back singles to open his outing, Worley retired six of the final seven batters he faced. Five of those outs came on ground balls.
Worley, who said he hasn’t yet been told whether he’s making the Opening Day roster, was originally scheduled to throw four innings or 60 pitches, whichever came first. But he was removed when play resumed after just 34 pitches.
Hyun Soo Kim appeared in his first game since March 26, pinch hitting in the ninth against the Phillies. He came on with two on and one out, and proceeded to ground into a fielder’s choice at second base.
Avery adding late pop
Avery, a nonroster invitee, likely won’t make the Orioles’ Opening Day roster, but he definitely opened some eyes late in camp. Avery’s opposite-field two-run blast in the fourth off Frieri was his third in his past five spring games and his fourth of the exhibition season. Granted it was mostly in later innings, but Avery hit .313 with eight RBIs this spring. The outfield in Triple-A Norfolk is deep, but given his strong spring it will be difficult to not make Avery — a former Orioles second-round draft pick — the everyday center fielder there.
Rickard keeps rolling
The Orioles left Sarasota, Fla., but Rule 5 draft pick Joey Rickard’s strong spring continued to the end. He started in left field and batted ninth, a possible foreshadowing of Opening Day, and drove in the Orioles’ first run of the night with a two-out RBI single off Phillies starter Aaron Nola. Rickard also made a nice running catch on a tailing liner off the bat of Cedric Hunter to end the bottom of the first inning. The only remaining question now is whether Rickard, who hit .397 (25-for-63) this spring, is the club’s Opening Day left fielder Monday.
“I still like it here a lot. The fans still kind of like me, so that’s a good thing. I didn’t get booed too bad every time I’ve made my return here. I’ve always liked playing here and pitching here, but it’s also going to prepare me for Camden [Yards]. It’s a small park there, too, so being able to keep the ball on the ground tonight, that’s a good start if I’m in Camden.”
— Worley, who came up with the Phillies, on pitching at Citizens Bank Park again