Spring Training baseball is well underway now, and the Baltimore Orioles improved to 2-0 this spring as they defeated the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday 5-4. Baltimore will face a division foe today in the New York Yankees.
Jair Jurrjens made his in-game action Orioles debut yesterday and pitched fairly well, as he allowed one run on two hits and one walk in two innings pitched, which is an efficient outing, but those numbers don't jump off the screen. However, the most promising statistic for Baltimore out of Jurrjens yesterday was the fact that his fastball topped out at 93 MPH, which is much improved from last year when his velocity dropped significantly from his 2011 All-Star season. Jurrjens' fastball was consistently around the 89-90 MPH mark, but the fact that he could top it out at 93 is a promising sign.
Kevin Gausman made his Orioles' spring training game debut yesterday as well, and he was quite impressive. Although he did allow one run, one hit, and two walks in his 1 2/3 innings pitched, his fastball was consistently hitting 96-97 MPH and topped out at 98, but his change-up was incredibly impressive as it had good drop and came in at miniscule 83 MPH, which is a fantastic velocity change that makes his tough to hit.
Mike Belfiore picked up the win throwing two scoreless innings in relief, while Rob Delaney picked up the save in the ninth by getting the final out of the ball game.
Steve Pearce drilled a two run homer off of Toronto starter Mark Buerhle in the second inning after Lew Ford singled. After the homer, both Danny Valencia and Taylor Teagarden singled to knock Buerhle out of the game, as it is safe to assume that he had reached his pitch count for the day. Trayvon Robinson, the "hero" from Saturday's game, doubled in his only at bat of the game in the eighth inning and was driven home on a double from Jason Pridie to give the Orioles the lead, and they would not relinquish it. Pearce led the way at the plate going 2-3 with a homer and three RBI, while Ford and Valencia also had two hits each as well.
The Orioles return to Ed Smith Stadium today to play host to the New York Yankees, who are now without center fielder Curtis Granderson, who broke his right forearm, and will send Brian Matusz to the bump to start the game. Tommy Hunter, Pedro Strop and Mark Hendrickson are also scheduled to pitch today as well.
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