Matt Wieters and Adam Jones, arguably the Orioles’ best two players, started this month exceptionally slow.
Their bats woke up nearly simultaneously in the first inning Sunday night with their first homers of the spring as the Orioles beat the New York Yankees, 6-3.
Jones, who entered the evening 5-for-22, hit a towering, three-run homer off the batter’s eye in center field against Yankee right-hander Ivan Nova. It was his first Grapefruit League extra base hit.
Two batters later, Wieters picked up just his third hit in 21 at-bats with his first spring homer, a solo shot against Nova, a 16-game winner in 2011. Wieters also threw out two base-stealers and picked off a third runner.
“We’re getting close to that time where you’ll start seeing guys with a little different look in their eyes,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Orioles right-hander Alfredo Simon, pitching in his first game since March 10, lasted just two innings due the re-aggravation of a groin strain. He said he hopes it will be a minor setback.
“I'm going to be ready as soon as I can,” said Simon, who has pitched just seven innings this spring. “I don't think it's that bad. It's not going to take me that long to get ready. I'll see what happens.”
Reliever Luis Ayala threw one perfect inning in his first outing since March 11.
The best pitching performance of the night came from Mike Wright, the Orioles’ third-round pick last year out of East Carolina. He allowed two hits and struck out four in 2 1/3 innings while throwing a low-90s sinker and a darting slider.