One of the unusual aspects of Spring Training is the tie, as it is unfortunately a possibility in every spring game in order not to tax pitching staffs. Thanks to a Ryan Flaherty game tying two-run home run in the bottom of the tenth inning, the Baltimore Orioles tied for the second time this spring, as they tied the Boston Red Sox 3-3 yesterday afternoon.
After Boston scored two runs in the top of the tenth off of Orioles reliever Clay Schrader, Flaherty, after a two out single by Russ Canzler, blasted a two-run shot to right field to tie the game, but Trayvon Robinson flied out to end the game in a 3-3 tie.
Prior to the tenth, Baltimore and Boston were locked in a pitchers duel as each side had only mustered one run a piece through the first nine frames. Zach Britton got the start for the Orioles and looked very good. Britton's final line was 3 2/3 innings pitched, while allowing zero runs on one hit, walking two and striking out one. The most impressive part of Britton's performance yesterday was his location, as he was keeping his sinker down and getting ground balls, which is very promising for the O's.
Rule 5 draft pick, T.J. McFarland outshined Britton's performance by throwing three perfect innings and striking out one. It was by far McFarland's best outing of the spring and is fighting to try and convince Baltimore to keep him on the roster as the final bullpen pitcher.
Brian Roberts led the way offensively going 2-3 with two singles, RBI and a stolen base. Yes, you read that correctly, a stolen base, and the most promising part of that is that he slid head first into second base with no issues.
The Orioles will travel to Dunedin to take on the Toronto Blue Jays today and will send Jake Arrieta to the mound for the start. Arrieta should be feeling a little bit of pressure following the great performances of Brian Matusz and Britton the last few days and the nice performances by Steve Johnson and Jair Jurrjens in the intrasquad game on Tuesday, as they are all in a battle for the fifth and final spot in the starting rotation.
***News and Notes***
The Orioles traded minor leaguers Mike Flacco, brother of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, to the Boston Red Sox for cash consideration or a player to be named later.
Team USA was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic last night at the hands of Team Puerto Rico, but the good news for Orioles fans is that Adam Jones will now return to Orioles camp.
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