Mark Reynolds hits a two-run double off Twins starter Francisco… (Reuters photo )
SARASOTA, Fla. — The Orioles put their hitting shoes back on at Ed Smith Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, hammering Francisco Liriano and the Minnesota Twins 11-2 in the first game of another split-squad day in South Florida.
The O's are scheduled to play the Boston Red Sox tonight at City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, but the "A" team enjoyed a cool, sunny afternoon with the wind blowing out hard to left field. Vladimir Guerrero, Adam Jones and Ryan Adams enjoyed it most of all, slamming long home runs to carry Jake Arrieta to his first victory of the exhibition season.
Guerrero lined his second homer of the spring over the left-field fence and may have put a dent in one of the Twins' team buses. Jones lit up former O's prospect Jim Hoey with a drive that cleared the picnic area behind left field and hit the facing of Ed Smith's brand-new party pavilion. No word if any umbrella drinks were injured.
Adams applied the icing in the bottom of the eighth with another shot into the party area to account for the 11th run of the biggest offensive performance since the O's scored 12 runs in their first game at the renovated ballpark on March 1.
Arrieta pitched three innings and gave up a run on three hits, the only run scoring on a solo homer by Twins third baseman Luke Hughes. He looked comfortable on the mound and displayed better command than in his two-inning debut against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland last week.
"I'm getting more comfortable in game situations, [with] guys in the box,'' Arrieta said. "The atmosphere of just being more of a big-league setting. Just getting more comfortable around the zone with all my pitches. My breaking balls were a lot better today, a little bit more crisp. Just everything felt better, as I expected it to, my second time out. I only expect it to get better as spring goes on."
Luke Scott started his second game at first base and struggled a bit defensively, but he ended his spring hit drought with a single in the third inning.
"Now we're cooking with grease,'' manager Buck Showalter said. "I told Luke and [Matt Wieters] at stretch that they are going to be my picks to start the off the season as the hottest hitters on the club."