Twins 2 Orioles 0

March 09, 2009|By Peter Schmuck


Top prospect Matt Wieters came up in the ninth inning with a chance to break up a combined no-hit bid by the Minnesota Twins, and he delivered again with a sharp grounder through the middle of the infield for the Orioles' only hit at Fort Lauderdale Stadium. Just the day before, Wieters came up with a chance to tie the score against the Florida Marlins with two outs in the ninth and delivered a similar knock through the infield to send the game into extra innings. "It's always fun to be able to produce," Wieters said. "It's spring training and you're really trying to work on some things, but when you get in that situation, that's going to help you during the regular season."


The only runs of the game came on one swing. The Twins' Carlos Gomez hit a towering home run over the left-field screen off Orioles pitcher Hayden Penn, who had walked Matt Tolbert to lead off the sixth inning. The Orioles hadn't even had their first base runner at that point and never threatened to get back in the game. Wieters was the only Oriole to reach second base.


Right-hander Danys Baez pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings in his first truly effective performance since coming back from reconstructive elbow surgery. He struck out two, walked none and didn't surrender a hit until Jason Kubel singled in front of right fielder Nick Markakis with two outs in the fourth. Baez said afterward it was a major step for him to get deep into the fourth inning with fewer than 50 pitches. No doubt, the Orioles' coaching staff would agree because a couple of the club's other candidates for the starting rotation - Brad Hennessey and John Parrish - already have been ruled out of the rotation.


Right-hander Koji Uehara will make his second Grapefruit League start today against the New York Mets at Port St. Lucie against right-hander Brandon Knight. Uehara worked two innings in his first exhibition start and also pitched very well in a start against the Dominican Republic national team. Because the Dominican team might have fielded the toughest lineup Uehara will face this spring, it's fair to combine his statistics from the first two appearances. He has pitched five scoreless innings and given up just three hits. Look for him to pitch four innings today if all goes well.

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