Orioles 5, Yankees 1

The Baltimore Orioles won 93 games last year and went to the
postseason for the first time in 15 years, taking the New York
Yankees to a fifth game in the division series.

The teams met for the first time since last October on Monday.
The Yankees brought only one player who appeared in that fifth
game, center fielder Brett Gardner, while the Orioles lineup was
populated by familiar names.

Baltimore won its third straight to start spring training, 5-1
over New York. It’s the second time in three years they’ve begun
spring training with three consecutive wins according to STATS
LLC.

Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis each had two hits and Brian
Matusz pitched two scoreless innings, but manager Buck Showalter
isn’t getting too excited about the start.

”It’s way too early,” Showalter said. ”There are some things
I’m happy with.”

In their three spring games, the Orioles have outscored their
opponents 15-8.

”We’ve pitched pretty well so far. If we do that, you’ve got a
chance in spring training early on. Arms are usually ahead of the
hitters a little bit,” Showalter said.

Roberts and Markakis, the two most senior Orioles, were injured
and missed the postseason. Matusz, who was reinvented as a
left-handed reliever last August, started and allowed two hits to a
Yankees lineup that featured only two regulars – Gardner and
catcher Francisco Cervelli.

”It was nice to get out there and get the first one out of the
way, kind of get in the rhythm again. It’s been a while since I’ve
been a starter. It’s nice to work on the routine again and try and
find that,” Matusz said.

In 2011, Matusz had a horrifying 10.69 ERA – the worst for any
starting pitcher with 10 or more starts. After a rocky beginning to
2012, the Orioles sent him to Triple-A Norfolk in July, and a month
later, he returned to become a key member of the bullpen down the
stretch.

At 26, Matusz feels he’s far too young to be stereotyped as a
bullpen guy and wants to be considered for the Orioles’ starting
rotation.

”It was nice to be able to go two and get a base and something
to go off of,” Matusz said.

Gardner had three hits for New York, which lost Curtis
Granderson on Sunday for 10 weeks with a broken right forearm.

Without Alex Rodriguez and Granderson, the Yankees are missing
plenty of home run power, and manager Joe Girardi was blunt: Matt
Diaz and Juan Rivera, two possibilities to replace Granderson, who
both played on Monday, aren’t power hitters.

”We’ve talked about we’re probably not going to hit as many
home runs as we did last year,” Girardi said. ”We have more
speed, so the guy that fills in is going to be another speed guy,
and you score runs more that way. We’re going to have to rely on
our speed more, no doubt about it. How this guy, whoever he is,
fits in, we’ll have to see. we really don’t know.”

Left fielder Nate McLouth drove in two runs for Baltimore.

NOTES: Yankees RHP Mariano Rivera threw 32 pitches during
batting practice in Tampa on Monday morning. Rivera told reporters
that he’s doing well, and that he will next pitch a simulated game.
Rivera has yet to pitch in a game after tearing his ACL in his
right knee last May. … New York LHP CC Sabathia, who is
recovering from offseason elbow surgery, also threw batting
practice, and he’s now throwing all of his pitches. … Baltimore
LHP Tsuyoshi Wada threw his first bullpen session from a mound
since undergoing Tommy John surgery last May.