Shaky Hill appears unlikely to break camp with St. Louis

March 25, 2010|By Peter Schmuck

JUPITER, Fla. — — The Orioles ran into an old friend Wednesday at Roger Dean Stadium.

St. Louis Cardinals left-hander Rich Hill, who spent a fitful year with the Orioles in 2009, started against Brian Matusz and pitched three innings in the Cardinals' 4-2 victory.

Hill gave up two runs on four hits and three walks, exhibiting many of the characteristics that made him such an unpredictable pitcher in Baltimore. He walked Felix Pie to lead off the game and displayed erratic control throughout his performance, but settled down after giving up two runs in the first inning.

It was Hill's fourth exhibition appearance and second start, and it doesn't look as if he'll break camp with the major league pitching staff. He is 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA. He has pitched 10 exhibition innings and has allowed 12 hits and nine walks.

Matusz shut out St. Louis through three innings but gave up a string of hits in a two-run Cardinals fourth and allowed the first three batters to reach base in the fifth as St. Louis took the lead. It was his first difficult outing of the spring, but he still pitched six innings and held Cardinals sluggers Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday to a combined 0-for-6 with a walk.

Nolan Reimold drove in the first Orioles run with a single in the first inning and doubled in the sixth. He has hit safely in his past three games after going hitless in his first 21 Grapefruit League at-bats.

On deck
Right-hander Brad Bergesen will start at 1:05 p.m. today against the New York Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla. Bergesen has made three exhibition appearances and given up six earned runs over 8 2/3 innings, but the Orioles are less interested in the numbers than in seeing him comfortable on the mound. The Yankees will start right-hander Alfredo Aceves in the second of four Grapefruit League games against the Orioles. The Orioles play seven of their last 10 exhibition games at home.

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