SARASOTA, Fla. — Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf turned in his longest outing of the spring tonight in the 11-7 loss against the Orioles. That’s the good news.
The bad: Ohly worked 4 2/3 innings, allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits, walked two and struck out three. He also served up three long homers.
“Still not as good as I’d like to be, but I still thought it was better than last time,” said Ohlendorf, whose ERA swelled to 10.05 “I’ve been up in the zone too much. I was better today, but not as good as I need to be. I know I’m overthrowing some. That’s a big part of it.”
Luke Scott and Mark Reynolds mashed titanic solo shots in the second inning. Ohlendorf gave up a run in the third, the allowed three in the fifth. Felix Pie roped a homer 400-plus feet to center and Reynolds whipped a double into the left field corner.
Ohlendorf lags behind the rest of the starters in terms of innings pitched. With just one spring start to go, does he have enough time to be fully ready for the regular season?
“I hope so,” he said. “There’s no reason I can’t be. I’m not that concerned about it.”
Ohlendorf has been trying to quicken his pace to the plate with runners on base, but that also has led to some control problems.
“I think I can be quicker and keep the ball down,” he said. “But the way I was quick, the manner that I was quick, it led to me elevating some. In the first inning, I was slower to the plate. I was trying to make sure I stayed back a little bit longer, just to get my timing down. I got quicker again later in the game. I think I pitched better out of the stretch today than in my previous two outings, when I really was struggling with it.”
»»» Chris Snyder, in his first game back after missing time with a sore back. caught five innings and was pain-free. “No problem,” Snyder said. “The back held up fine.”
»»» Neil Walker jacked a pair of homers, both solo shots off right-hander Jake Arrieta. That gives him four this spring, tying him with Lyle Overbay, who went deep in the first inning, for the team lead. Maybe Walker was inspired by hitting in the cleanup spot. “We were laughing about it before the game,” Walker said. “That’s the one spot I probably haven’t hit in very much.”
»»» Josh Rodriguez hit his first homer of the spring, a two-run blast to left field.
»»» Not a good night for lefty Garrett Olson. He tossed one inning and yielded three runs on three hits, walked two and struck out one. His ERA is 7.71.
»»» Chris Jakubauskas, who hitched on with the O’s after being released by the Pirates, threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out three. Jaku, you will recall, missed a chunk of last season after being struck on the head by a line drive during his Pirates debut in Houston.