Orioles use bullpen stars in 19-7 win over Spain

Orioles use bullpen stars in 19-7 win over Spain
March 6, 2013, 6:00 pm
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SARASOTA, Fla. – Buck Showalter used Wednesday to give some work to his best bullpen arms.

Luis Ayala, Darren O’Day and Jim Johnson faced hitters for the first time this spring in the Orioles’ 19-7 rout of Spain’s team in the World Baseball Classic at Ed Smith Stadium.

Spain has just two players on major league 40-man rosters, and they were clearly overmatched against the Orioles

Jake Arrieta and Zach Britton were both given work. Arrieta allowed an unearned run in three innings. Britton, who is jockeying with Arrieta, Steve Johnson and Jair Jurrjens for the fifth starter job, gave up three runs and four hits in two innings.

“They feel good physically, and that's good enough for me right now," Showalter said.

Arrieta had no idea who he was facing.

“It doesn’t really matter, one way or the other,” Arrieta said. “It’s hard to know their strengths and weaknesses.”

Johnson allowed an unearned run in the eighth inning, Ayala, no runs and two hits in the fourth inning and Darren O’Day two runs and three hits in one inning.

“That was the whole idea, to get them out there,” Showalter said.

With the World Baseball Classic elongating spring training, Showalter has been resting his main bullpen arms. Johnson, who led baseball with 51 saves, won’t pitch again until Sunday.

"It wasn't hard at all. It was a good work day. That's what I thought. I got what I needed out of it," Johnson said.

"I felt good today. That's all that really matters."

Last year, he was slowed by a bad back. Two years ago, he threw 10 innings in spring training, and he said that would be his aim this year.

NOTES:

-There will probably be a handful of cuts on Thursday, Showalter said.

-Showalter said that Nick Markakis, who has been out since suffering neck spasms on Sunday, will probably play next Sunday.

-Reserve catchers Taylor Teagarden (back spasms) and Luis Martinez (oblique) are making good progress, Showalter said.

-Jason Hammel will start against Toronto on Thursday. The Blue Jays will start Mark Buehrle. Sergio Santos, Justin Germano, Claudio Vargas, Alex Hinshaw, Evan Crawford and Mickey Storey are also scheduled for Toronto.