After failing to capitalize on early scoring threats against Phil Hughes, the Orioles have finally broken through against Phil Hughes. Nate McLouth led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo homer to right field to break a scoreless tie and give the Orioles a 1-0 lead.
Hughes issued leadoff walks in three out of the first four innings, but managed to wiggle out of trouble each time. The Orioles are an astounding 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position so far tonight.
The Yankees have also had their fair share of chances against Joe Saunders, the most prominent of which was when Jayson Nix led off the bottom of the third inning with a double. However, Saunders managed to strike out Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki and Mark Teixeira swinging. Yes, Joe Saunders actually did that.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.