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Orioles Top Twins 3-1; Baker Might Start Season on DL; It's Nice Outside

Although the offense was no great shakes, the pitching was much better than in yesterday's pretend game debacle. Nick Blackburn was excellent, four words which were not strung together much at all in 2011. His final line: 4 IP, 0 R, 1H, 1 BB, 3 K (from Phil Mackey: first-pitch strikes to 11 of the 14 batters he faced). An effective Blackburn in 2012 doesn't solve all the Twins' problems, but getting production from the 4th/5th starter would be a godsend.

One Twins pitcher did struggle noticeably, and that was Jared Burton. The non-roster invitee, who had been almost perfect in four previous spring outings, was touched for 2 hits, 2 walks and 2 runs (1 earned) in the 8th, taking the loss.

As far as the hitting with the bats and the gloves and the ball and the things, your standard bearers were Chris Parmelee (not Gene Parmesan), who went 2-for-3 with a walk, Luke Hughes, whose RBI double accounted for the only run, and Ryan Doumit, who was 2-for-4.

Oh, and the Twins were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, which would be a lot more troubling if it wasn't so damn nice outside and I'm not going to let that bother me even though it sort of does.

In legitimately concerning news, Scott Baker might start the season on the DL. Quoting Joe Christensen:

Twins being careful with Scott Baker's right elbow. He might open year on DL, with goal of rejoining rotation in early April, a la 2009.

There's another game at 6:00 against the Red Sox. It's not on TV or radio. For all we know, it's a Strat-0-Matic game. My advice to you: go outside.