Twins 4, Orioles 3

March 12, 2009|By DAN CONNOLLY

Limiting runs, anyway

Orioles pitchers gave up 17 hits to the Minnesota Twins yesterday at Fort Lauderdale Stadium, but they yielded just four runs in a 4-3 loss. Only Jim Johnson, in the sixth, pitched a perfect inning. The Twins put the lead runner on base in seven of the first eight innings but could not consistently score. Orioles starter David Pauley, who is out of options and is attempting to make the rotation, allowed nine base runners in three innings but allowed just two runs, thanks in large part to Adam Jones' defense in center field.

Jones for the defense

Jones turned in the play of the game in the first inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Twins catcher Mike Redmond hit a soft, sinking liner that Jones dived for and snagged. He then doubled up Michael Cuddyer at second base to end the threat. Two innings later, Jones uncorked a strike to home plate after a shallow flyout to deter the Twins from tagging up from third. Orioles manager Dave Trembley said Jones is ratcheting up his defense, taking better routes to balls and helping position newcomers Ryan Freel and Felix Pie in left. "It's spring training. I am down here working on stuff myself," Jones said. "I'm taking it serious."

On deck

The Orioles will have an intrasquad game today, and it will feature three of the organization's best prospects: Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta and Brian Matusz. Left-hander Mark Hendrickson, who has pitched only once this spring because of a lower-back injury, is expected to throw three innings. Trembley said he envisions Hendrickson as a long reliever.

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