Schmuck: Wednesday O's updates

March 17, 2010|By Peter Schmuck | Baltimore Sun reporter

O's lose, 4-1

The Orioles only managed two hits in today's 4-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, but they spaced them out well. Cesar Izturis led off the bottom of the first inning with a single and they didn't get another hit until there were two outs in the ninth -- and that was on a ball that should have been caught.

Nevertheless, Dave Trembley tried to look on the bright side.

"We didn't get any hits, but it was great to stretch some guys out,'' Trembley said.

Trembley said he thought Miguel Tejada looked as comfortable at third base as he has all spring.

"That's a big plus for us,'' he said.

The competition for the middle relief roles continues to be heated, with several guys pitching well and Cla Meredith still having allowed neither a hit nor a walk.

"There are slots for many more opportunities to go out and pitch,'' Trembley said. "I hope they continue to make it very difficult for me. There's a dogfight going on down there int he bullpen. They know it and they are pitching like it."

Berken's bad luck
1:43 p.m.

Orioles starter Jason Berken isn't exactly known for his good luck on the mound, and today's third inning was a good example. He held the Blue Jays scoreless for the first two innings, then fell victim to an error in right field and a broken-bat single that contributed to a three-run Toronto rally.

Berken gave up six hits, but several of them were softly hit or found a hole. He probably didn't enhance his chance of winning the fifth slot in the rotation, but he didn't do anything to really hurt it either.

Orioles: Pregame Dave
12:12 p.m.

Dave Trembley re-emphasized today that the fifth slot in the starting rotation does not automatically belong to Chris Tillman. Jason Berken takes the mound today against the Toronto Blue Jays with a chance to win the role. David Hernandez pitched yesterday in Fort Myers with an opportunity to build his case.

"I think Berken, Hernandez and Tillman are all vying for the fifth slot,'' Trembley said. "I think that's why we have tried to stretch those guys out. Berken's getting a opportunity to start today. Hernandez yesterday. We're going to keep playing it out that way, giving people opportunities."

When pressed on whether Tillman was the frontrunner, Trembley did not hesitate.

"I would say no one is,'' he said. "I think I said in the offseason before I came to camp that I think the right thing to do is the fair thing to do. Berken and Hernandez started for us all last year when they were there last year. I thought it was unfair to just say 'It's Tillman's.' That's no disrespect to Tillman. That's not slighting him and that's not saying anything good or bad about Berken or Hernandez. There are still games to play here and we have it slotted so that guys are going to get opportunities to start here and then we're going to see what's best for them, but more importantly, what's best for the team."

Trembley also said that Mike Gonzalez (sore back) would likely pitch an inning on Friday and Felix Pie (shoulder) is scheduled to return to the exhibition lineup on Saturday. No schedule is yet in place for Brian Roberts, who will sit out another day to see how he responds to the epidural injection he got Monday in his sore lower back.

Today's lineup 8:38 a.m.

Here's today's Orioles starting lineup:

Cesar Izturis SS

Adam Jones CF

Nick Markakis RF Matt Wieters C

Miguel Tejada 3B Nolan Reimold DH Garrett Atkins 1B

Ty Wigginton 2B Jonathan Tucker LF

Jason Berken RHP

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