The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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March 10, 2014

Orioles go long to beat Pirates

SARASOTA, Fla. — Chris Davis had a long home run and three RBI, J.J. Hardy hit a three-run shot and Wei-Yin Chen pitched three shutout innings to help the Baltimore Orioles beat a Pittsburgh Pirates split squad 9-2 on Sunday.

Davis has two homers and seven RBI this spring for the Orioles, who improved to 8-2.

Baltimore scored 20 runs in two games Saturday against Boston and is averaging nearly eight runs per game.

“I have not looked at a stat sheet this spring – and won’t. I don’t look at them,” manager Buck Showalter said.

If Showalter looked, he’d see Davis is hitting .533, Hardy .400 and right fielder Nick Markakis, who had two hits, is at .633.

“I trust my eyes,” Showalter said. “I’m OK with them playing real well.”

Matt Wieters tried to downplay the Orioles’ offensive performance.

“It’s nice to swing the bat well at any time. It’s also nice to pitch well,” he said.

In his second Grapefruit League start, Chen gave up one hit and struck out two.

“The pitching staff is really progressing on a nice pace. I’m excited about that,” Showalter said.

Edinson Volquez started for the Pirates and gave up six runs on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings. In two starts, Volquez has allowed nine runs in five innings.

Andrew McCutchen and Tony Sanchez hit home runs for Pittsburgh.

Starting time

Pirates: Volquez left without talking to reporters.

Sanchez, his catcher, said he could tell Volquez wasn’t having a good day.

“Unfortunately, that was the first time I’ve ever caught him, and him and I weren’t on the same page,” Sanchez said.

“I could see he was uncomfortable throwing to me and it kind of affected him. I take that to heart. I did not feel good back there because I knew he wasn’t really in sync.

“There was a lot of shakes, a lot of time in between pitches. I knew he wasn’t in the rhythm that he wanted to be in.”

Orioles: Chen was much stronger in his second start than his first. He allowed two runs and five hits Tuesday against the New York Yankees.

“I think the main difference is my command is better than the last outing. I was able to keep the ball low and hit both sides of the plate,” Chen said through a translator. “I’ve got a feel for my pitches, and in the next few outings, I was going to try to get a better feel for all my pitches. Everything is on track for the moment.”

Trainer’s room

Orioles: Third baseman Manny Machado, rehabbing from left knee surgery, will see his surgeon, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, within the next 10 days for a re-evaluation.

Machado hopes to be cleared to play and still hopes to be ready for the Orioles’ March 31 opener.

“Things have been going great. Everything has been going smooth.

“We haven’t had any complaints. Even the whole offseason, it’s been a slow ride,” Machado said.

“I hope I can play a couple of games with the team, even if I’m not going to be ready on opening day. I hope I can play a couple of games. I’m pretty sure I maybe will. We’ll see how I keep feeling this week and the next.”

Roster moves

The Orioles reassigned first baseman Chris Marrero and right-handers Fabio Castillo and Mike Wright to minor league camp.

Marrero, a former Washington Nationals first-round draft choice, didn’t play in any spring games because of a strained oblique muscle.

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