TAMPA, Fla. — The Orioles' quest to make Jeremy Guthrie their first starter this spring to get through four innings was pretty much derailed when the right-hander threw 25 pitches Saturday before he got his first out.
Guthrie showed some improvement after his rocky first inning, but he admitted that his effort in the Orioles' 5-3 loss to the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field was not a great performance by any means.
"I gave up a lot of hits, got behind some hitters and walked that leadoff guy [to start the game]," Guthrie said. "It was nice to go out there and put up a zero in the third and get that leadoff guy in the fourth, but there's still a lot of work to be done."
In his third spring start, Guthrie surrendered four runs (three in the first) on eight hits and a walk over 3 1/3 innings, leaving his Grapefruit League era at 5.87. The positive was that he did retire the final seven Yankees that he faced after the first six New York batters to hit against him reached base.
Guthrie threw a total of 36 pitches in the first inning and 27 over the next 2 1/3.
"He didn't locate like he did his last 15 to 20 pitches," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said of Guthrie's first-inning struggles. "I would have preferred he finished the fourth but the 65 pitches were good for him."
Though Guthrie was removed after retiring Ramiro Pena for the first out of the fourth, he is the only Oriole to get through three complete innings this spring.
"I can only worry about myself," Guthrie said. "It's fixable. I just need to go out there and be more aggressive early in the counts and get some quicker outs and even quicker results for that matter. I can't sit there and worry about the other four pitchers. I need to worry about what I can do."
Orioles outfielder Felix Pie, who last played on Wednesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates, will likely be out until Monday or Tuesday as a result of a sore left shoulder.
"I have a little bit of tendonitis," said Pie, who originally felt the soreness after lifting weights. "I'm going to take a couple of days and after that, I'm going to start throwing again. I'll be fine. It's something that I'm not too worried about. I'll take a couple of days and I'm going to be OK."
Wiggy safe at second
Ty Wigginton used to consider second base his favorite position, but that was before he got a chance in emergency situations last year to play shortstop. He was back at second Saturday as Trembley continues to review his options if Brian Roberts (herniated disk) isn't ready for Opening Day.
"I think back as recent as 2007, I was playing every day second base when I got traded to Houston," said Wigginton, who plated the Orioles' first runs Saturday with a two-run shot off Javier Vazquez in the second inning. "It's not that long ago. It's just a matter of getting out there and doing it. The double-play, I'm sure I'll be a little bit rusty on, but I'm going to make the routine plays."
Wigginton did more than that on Saturday, making a long run toward second base to back-hand Robinson Cano's hard grounder and in one motion, flipping it to shortstop Cesar Izturis to start a double play in the second inning. He also flawlessly handled three more chances at second base.
Around the horn
Relievers Matt Albers and Cla Meredith pitched perfect innings Saturdayand have now pitched a total of nine scoreless frames this spring. First baseman Michael Aubrey tweaked his groin and was removed from the game after one at-bat. Trembley is planning an intrasquad game on Tuesday to make up some of the at-bats and innings lost from Friday's rainout. The Yankees had split-squad games Saturday, and Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter were among their regulars who traveled to Lakeland to face the Tigers rather than staying home against the Orioles.