After a fun filled day at Orioles‘ Fan Fest in Camden Yards, the Birds traveled down 95 to meet the Nationals in D.C. for their final exhibition game before Opening Day on April 6th.
There are a lot of question marks going into opening day for the Orioles. Many of them are in the rotation. Alfredo Simon was on the hill for Baltimore and after giving up a grand slam in the first inning to Josh Willingham, Simon settled down.
Simon pitched 4.2 innings giving up 5 hits, 4 earned runs, 3 walks, and a strike out. He really got going in 2nd inning, retiring his next seven straight batters. Simon showed that he has control, he really just got off to a rocky start.
As predicted for the 2009 season, the Orioles bullpen shined in tonight’s exhibition game. Jamie Walker relieved Simon in the 5th inning. Walker was called upon to take down Nats’ slugger Adam Dunn with two men on and two outs and he did just that.
Walker, Ray, Johnson, Castillo and Sherrill combined for 3.1 innings pitched, 2 hits and 1 earned run, given up by Jim Johnson (who got the loss).
The O’s bats showed signs of life against Washington. Aubrey Huff hit a 3-run shot to right field in the third inning. Then Scott Moore hit a game tying single in the 7th. Nick Markakis went 3 for 3 with a run and the defense of Brian Roberts shined in the nation’s capital.
Baltimore kicks off the season against the New York Yankees on Monday April 6th.