Jonathan Schoop leads Orioles to 6-3 win over Tampa Bay Rays

Infielder has three hits in first three at-bats, including a two-run HR

March 22, 2013|By Dan Connolly | The Baltimore Sun

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — The Orioles' top position prospect, Jonathan Schoop, had been away for most of the spring while representing the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.

He finally returned Wednesday and, on Friday, he led the Orioles to a 6-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

The 21-year-old started at shortstop and had three hits in his first three at-bats, including a RBI single in the fifth and a two-run homer in the sixth against Rays starting pitcher Jeff Niemann.

Steve Pearce also homered as the Orioles improved to 16-6-3 in Grapefruit League action.

Steve Johnson, who is competing for a spot as the Orioles' fifth starter, had three strong innings and one bad one Friday.

After retiring eight in a row to start the game, Johnson walked three straight with two outs in the third. Rays' slugger Evan Longoria then hit a sinking liner to left field that Trayvon Robinson attempted to catch and the ball slipped underneath him. Longoria was credited with a three-run double.

The Orioles didn't allow another run after that.

Johnson gave up two hits, three walks and three runs in four innings while striking out two.

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