Orioles prospect allows one hit in four scoreless innings; outfielder homers
By Bryan Hoch and Brittany Ghiroli
TAMPA, Fla. -- Alejandro De Aza hit a three-run homer to back Tyler Wilson's impressive start as the Orioles defeated the Yankees, 10-2, on Saturday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
De Aza's second homer of the spring highlighted a five-run frame as Baltimore jumped on right-hander Scott Baker. Ryan Flaherty had a sacrifice fly and Jonathan Schoop slapped a run-scoring single in the frame off Baker, who is trying to win a spot on the Yanks' pitching staff as a non-roster invitee.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Wilson impresses: Making his first career Grapefruit League start, Wilson didn't show any jitters. The former 10th-round pick held a representative Yankees lineup to one hit over four scoreless innings. Wilson also struck out two and threw 43 pitches, 33 for strikes.
Didi's dive: Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius landed awkwardly on his left wrist in the second inning, diving for an Everth Cabrera single to left field. Gregorius stayed in the game but was replaced by Nick Noonan in the fifth, complaining that his wrist hurt on check-swings. Gregorius was diagnosed with a left wrist sprain; X-rays were negative.
Dellin dented again:Dellin Betances now owns a 7.11 ERA in seven Grapefruit League appearances, and being unable to hurl a clean inning has proven to be a source of frustration for the Yankees' closer candidate. He allowed a single and a walk to start the sixth before inducing a fielder's choice, but De Aza's sac fly knocked home the seventh Baltimore run.
A-Bomb for A-Rod: The Yankees didn't know what they could expect from Rodriguez as he returned from a season-long suspension, but he has impressed them by flashing some life in his swing. Rodriguez's third homer of the year was a no-doubt shot to left off Matusz, and the 39-year-old is batting .306 this spring.
Schoop stands out: After missing the early part of the week to get dental work, Schoop went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. The second-year infielder, who is expected to start at second base for the Orioles, is batting .268 this spring.
"I definitely think there's some merit to taking the guys that are pitching well toward the end of Spring Training vs. the beginning. But I think I've got at least one more outing before the spring is over, and it's important to show that you're able to bounce back and not let a bad outing affect your future outings. That within itself is just as important as having a good next outing." -- Baker.
Rodriguez will make his debut as a first baseman Sunday when the Yankees visit the Astros for a 1:05 p.m. ET contest in Kissimmee. Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will make his third spring start (fourth appearance) for the Bombers, with right-hander Scott Feldman on the hill for Houston. Chase Whitley and Esmil Rogers are scheduled to pitch in relief for New York.
The Orioles will play two on Sunday, hosting the Minnesota Twins and going on the road to face the Blue Jays. Miguel Gonzalez will start the home game while Ubaldo Jimenez will make the road trip. Both games are slated to start at 1:05 E.T. with the O's expected to make roster cuts following the split-squad action.