SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) - Zach Britton was hoping to make the Baltimore Orioles' starting staff. Despite an awful outing on Wednesday, he still is.
Britton allowed five runs and seven hits in 1 2-3 innings in the Orioles' 6-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Competing with Jake Arrieta, Steve Johnson and Brian Matusz and perhaps others for the No. 5 spot, Britton took a huge step back as his spring ERA fell to 6.10. He's coming off a season in which he won only five games, having been Baltimore's top winner in 2011.
``I don't think stats are everything they are looking at. Obviously you don't want to have a game like this at all, whether it's the season or spring training,' he said.
``But I think there's other stuff they are looking at. I feel healthy, my stuff has been pretty good. Obviously the results today weren't very good. But the velocity has been pretty good, movement on pitches has been pretty good,' Britton said.
After Britton left with a 5-0 deficit, Baltimore's bats got busy in the bottom of the second when they hit three solo home runs. They added two more plus an RBI single by Brian Roberts.
Nolan Reimold, who hadn't played in the field since March 1 due to a sore right shoulder, played left and hit two of the five solo shots.
``It's always fun when you have a good day. I felt a lot better than before,' Reimold said.
Reimold hasn't played a regular season game since last April 30 because of a herniated disk in his neck. He thinks he'll be ready to start the season.
``Definitely. We've got two more weeks. I already feel pretty good. Progressing and getting better with every game. I'll be all right,' Reimold said.
Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy and Nate McLouth also homered.
Jeremy Jeffress, who's trying to make Toronto as a reliever, started and allowed three home runs in the second.
``They have a very big jet stream here. Some of the hits were off the end of the bat. They put a pretty good swing on some of the hits,' Jeffress said.
``I feel great about the whole work - what I did today.'
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons wasn't quite as pleased with Jeffress' work.
``He scuffled, I mean they whacked him around pretty good,' Gibbons said.
``He's in the mix. Overall he's had a good spring. He struggled today so we look for him to have a good one next time out.'
Guillermo Moscoso, claimed on waivers from Kansas City last Saturday, made his first appearance for Toronto and allowed three runs on five hits in the third - his only inning.
``They didn't miss many today,' Gibbons said.
``The ball was flying today. I mean they hit, what, five home runs? They usually say solo home runs don't beat you.'
Emilio Bonifacio and J.P. Arencibia each had three hits for Toronto. Bonifacio had a two-run homer.
NOTES: Roberts fouled a ball off his right ankle, but said he was fine after leaving the game. He's batting .361 this spring. ... Orioles CF Adam Jones played in his first game since returning from the World Baseball Classic. He went 0 for 2 and is batting .077. ... Baltimore optioned C Luis Exposito to Triple-A Norfolk and reassigned RHP Adam Russell and LHP Daniel Schlereth to minor league camp. They have 45 players on their roster. ... Blue Jays 3B Brett Lawrie who's been out with a strained rib, played catch at camp in Dunedin, Fla. for the first time since being injured. He expects to be ready for Opening Day. ... Toronto LHP Ricky Romero will try out his new delivery in a minor league game on Thursday.
The Associated Press News Service
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