Guthrie struggles again as O's fall to Yankees, 11-7

Starter gives up 5 runs, walks 4, hits 2 batters in 5 innings

March 30, 2010|By Peter Schmuck

SARASOTA, Fla. — — Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie continued to struggle with his command Monday night, walking four and hitting two batters during a rocky five-inning performance in the Orioles' 11-7 loss to the New York Yankees before a record crowd of 8,208 at Ed Smith Stadium.

Guthrie gave up five runs (four earned) on just three hits, but he was in trouble from the start and allowed a three-run home run to Robinson Cano in the top of the first inning. That probably wouldn't have raised a lot of eyebrows - considering the strong wind blowing out to center field - if he had not had so much trouble finding the strike zone throughout the evening.

"I wasn't able to get in the zone like I needed to get in the zone," Guthrie said. "There was a lot of walks, hit by pitches. Balls went all over the place essentially. I put a little more effort into this outing. [Pitching coach Rick Kranitz] asked me if I'd ramp it up a little bit, make sure I was ready to go for my first start of the season. I don't know if that was the reason for the lack of control, but absolutely, the ball was going all over the place."

Guthrie has been roughed up several times this spring, and he has a 7.40 ERA to prove it, but none of that will matter if he can pull it together in time for his first regular-season start next week. He said he's confident that will happen.

"The last two outings, I really feel like the ball has been moving," he said, "and for me, if the ball is moving, I feel very good about it. Now, I just got to get the location in the zone more consistently and I think the results would be some quicker outs for me.

The Orioles could not keep the Yankees off the scoreboard, but there were some highlights. Adam Jones hit a towering home run to left-center to bring them back into the game - albeit temporarily - in the fifth inning, and Brian Roberts looked good legging out a double for his first hit since debuting in the exhibition lineup Friday.

On deck
Brad Bergesen makes his fifth spring start today as the Orioles play the Detroit Tigers at 1:05 p.m. at Ed Smith Stadium. Left-hander Dontrelle Willis starts for the Tigers. Bergesen is 3-0 with a 3.77 ERA this spring and has allowed 14 hits and five walks in 14 1/3 innings. He's projected to be the Orioles' No. 4 starter.

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