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March 26, 2011

Wrapping up Orioles 7-2 win over Rays

David Riske just got the final six outs to secure the Orioles' 7-2 victory over the Rays before an announced 5,726 at the Charlotte Sports Park. It completed a nice afternoon for the Orioles' bullpen as three relievers combined to pitch six scoreless innings, allow just three hits and strike out seven.

Jason Berken allowed two hits and struck out three in two innings to lower his spring ERA to 3.46. Josh Rupe allowed just one hit and struck out one (Evan Longoria) over two innings and he hasn't allowed an earned run in 13 2/3 innings this spring. And then Riske finished it off by striking out three in two perfect innings.

Ryan Drese was the starter, but it was the three relievers that Orioles manager Buck Showalter focused on in his comments following the game.

"The last inning was good," said Showalter when asked about Drese's performance. "He’s struggling a little with his release point on his sinker, but he kept us in it. It didn’t get away from him. But I thought the three guys after him were real good. Boy, Riske has been impressive. Rupe continues to throw the ball well. I think that’s as crisp as I’ve seen Berken this year. His breaking ball really has some depth and some tilt on it. We had a lot of good at-bats at the end. We’re getting closer to where we want to be."

Berken and Rupe have put themselves in pretty good position to make the club in long relief roles with Rupe particularly standing out

"Fortunately, I’ve seen him do this before," Showalter said of Rupe. "He’s just trusting [catcher Matt Wieters]. Put it down and let’s go. When a guy has that many quality pitches in his arsenal, sometimes you can have too many. He threw, I think, six straight sinkers to Longoria. That’s Matt as much as it is Rupe. Pretty good. Let’s go. Why do you want to mess with anything else? He’s got a quality arm. Some time like that, a 28-year-old kind of figures it out. You can’t overthink it. Just trust your pitch quality." We’ll see if it carries over to the season if he makes the club."

As for Berken’s chances, Showalter said, "You guys see the numbers. The competition is there. He brings some length and a guy that is flexible. Rupe’s got some length, too. I don’t think it’s a competition between both of them. I think both of them could make it."

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 4:20 PM | | Comments (4)


First bery's spot is questionable and now berken.both these guys pitched well enough last year not to lose their jobs. This team makes me crazy.

The bottom line is McPhail doesn't like any players that were here before him. No choice on Nick and BRob.

Jeff Z's reply: First of all, while MacPhail has input, Buck is making the brunt of the rosters decisions. Second, one of many problems the Orioles have had over the years is guys getting a free pass and roster spot just because they've had some success in an Orioles' jersey. Buck wants everybody to prove themself and their worth. He doesn't want to guarantee roster spots just on past histories. I think that's the right mentality to have.

Firstly, that comment about being drunk was not me. Mr Imposter Brummie= Come debate me with your own name. Or are you afraid?

A very nice win today but remember: The Rays were probably not showing us very much.

Lets hope this team is ready to play next Friday

Brummie: First, you're a liar. And second, you're showing us way too much - that you know nothing about baseball and have no life. Again, get lost and stop trying to drag down this blog.
Rupe is one of the great stories of the spring. He could have a 15.00 ERA in May, but he deserves a spot in the bullpen right now.

Jeff. Any talk of a possible trade for a starter on another club at this point of ST? A pitcher who is having a good spring who's stuck behind 5 others, and is out of options? Our 'arms growth' seems a bit stunted right now. We could use some Miracle Gro!

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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