Cruz scores run in Baltimore debut, O’s top Jays
SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) Chris Davis hit a two-run double, scoring Nelson Cruz in his Orioles debut in Baltimore’s 9-7 win over to the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.
Cruz, who signed with the Orioles on Monday, walked and scored from first on Davis’ double.
Manager Buck Showalter was eager to get Cruz, who batted second and was the designated hitter, into the lineup. Cruz signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Orioles.
”It doesn’t feel like butterflies or anything. Buck asked me if I was nervous. I feel normal, I guess, as soon as I come out to the field. It’s something I haven’t done for a while. It comes natural,” Cruz said.
In his first game of the spring, Davis, who led the majors with 53 home runs last season, was 1 for 3 with the opposite-field double.
Davis was glad to play again with Cruz. The two were teammates in Texas.
”Like clockwork. I was glad to see him work an at-bat like that. I think that’s kind of where we’re all at after the first few days. Get in there, see some pitches. You just can’t simulate this stuff. You’ve got to be out there, you’ve got to turn on the competition again, and I felt good,” Davis said.
Toronto starter Drew Hutchison, battling for the fifth starter’s job, struck out four in throwing two scoreless innings, allowing one hit.
Miguel Gonzalez gave up one run on three hits in two innings for Baltimore.
The Orioles overcame a 7-2 deficit when they scored seven runs in the eighth. The big hits were a three-run triple by Francisco Peguero and a two-run single by Xavier Paul.
Peguero, who signed with Baltimore in December, began the inning with a single.
Blue Jays: Hutchison must beat out Todd Redmond and Esmil Rogers to make the staff.
”I don’t really know where my velocity was today,” Hutchison said. ”I was more worried about throwing strikes and being crisp. The only thing, I got into a couple of deep counts, but other than that, it was a good day.”
Orioles: Gonzalez, who has a starting spot for Baltimore secured, is pitching as if he wasn’t already guaranteed a job.
”You’ve still got to go out there and perform. You can’t take it easy, no matter what. I think there’s guys out there that want our position, so we’ve got to keep doing our work,” Gonzalez said.
Orioles: Outfielder Henry Urrutia will miss at least two days with a sore right shoulder. . Outfielder Quintin Berry, who had been sidelined with back spasms, pinch ran in the eighth inning and scored a run.
Blue Jays: Pitcher Casey Janssen has a tender right shoulder, but it’s not considered serious, manager John Gibbons said. . Third baseman Brett Lawrie (hamstring) and outfielder Edwin Encarnacion (wrist) didn’t make the trip, but their absences were precautionary, Gibbons said.
Showalter said that right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez would make his first start against Philadelphia on Friday. Jimenez has yet to appear since he was signed to a four-year, $50 million contract late last month. . Outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, a Baltimore minor leaguer, will play in the Orioles game against Boston in Fort Myers on Sunday. He’s the grandson of Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski.
A number of Baltimore players wore wristbands honoring Monica Barlow, the team’s director of public relations, who died of cancer on Friday at 36.
”She just helped me a lot with making the right decisions and doing things that not just helped me, but helped the team instead of just doing things just for the sake of doing them,” outfielder Adam Jones said.