SARASOTA, Fla. -- With 16 players capable of playing the outfield in Baltimore Orioles camp this spring, manager Buck Showalter will spend a lot of time with his eyes focused there during Grapefruit League games.
In deciding reserve roles, defensive flexibility will play a large factor. Four players -- Russ Canzler, Travis Ishiakwa, Steve Pearce and Conor Jackson -- will split time between outfield and first base as the Orioles seek a back up to Chris Davis, which could give them a leg up on the competition
But utility man Ryan Flaherty could have an advantage over the others, especially if he can solidify the team's faith in him to be the backup first baseman. Flaherty has played all four infield and both corner outfield spots.
"Flaherty is going to make it (tough)," Showalter said. "You can tell he's a little different look to him this spring. After getting through last year, he's not feeling his way around anymore. He's a real confident guy. He thinks he can do this and help us. I think he might be right."
Flaherty, who was the team's Rule 5 pick last season, has minor league options now, but his bat and glove progressed after a second-half rehab stint.
In Saturday's Grapefruit League opener against the Minnesota Twins at Ed Smith Stadium, starting right fielder Nick Markakis served as the designated hitter, giving non-roster invitee Chris Dickerson a start in right.
"We asked (Markakis) if he had a preference, and he said either way worked fine," Showalter said. "It worked better. We wanted to see Dickerson in the outfield. ... I've got a real good feel for what Nick can do. I want to get as many looks as I can at those guys.
Robinson's homer wins game
Trayvon Robinson's two-run homer in the eighth inning gave the Orioles a 5-3, come-from-behind win in Saturday's game, played before an announced 5,797.
Robinson, who is competing for a reserve spot in the outfield, took Twins left-hander Tyler Robertson over the left-field fence after Canzler led off the inning with a walk.
"He's going to get an opportunity here to show what he can do," Showalter said of Robinson, a 25-year-old acquired this offseason from the Seattle Mariners in a trade for infielder Robert Andino. "Switch-hitting guys who can play three (outfield) spots are hard to find, especially at his age. He's still a young man."
Second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who left camp after the game to join his Netherlands' World Baseball Classic team, drove in the game-tying run in the seventh inning with a one-out single to right off Shairon Martis, scoring Yamaico Navarro, who doubled in his first at-bat of the game.
Left-hander Zach Britton and right-hander Jake Arrieta, both competing for starting rotation spots, pitched scoreless frames in the first and second innings, respectively.
"It's nice to get out there," said Britton, who didn't pitch last spring because of a left shoulder impingement. "I felt pretty good. You build off this one and go get 'em the next time."
Each of the nine Orioles' pitchers Saturday threw one inning, finishing with non-roster right-hander Adam Russell, who earned the save.
Davis, looking to show this spring that he can hold up defensively to be the everyday first baseman, made three fine defensive plays, including one diving stop down the first line and another lunging backhanded grab into the hole. Davis also has singles in his first two at-bats.
Bundy struggles in debut
Top prospect Dylan Bundy escaped a bases-loaded jam in a scoreless fifth inning of work.
Bundy opened the inning with a three-pitch strikeout of Darin Mastroianni, but he then allowed back-to-back singles to Eduardo Escobar and Brandon Boggs, the latter a broken-bat looper to shallow center.
Bundy walked Chris Parmelee on a close full-count pitch to load the bases before striking out Chris Colabello looking.
"My arm felt good," said Bundy, who threw 27 pitches, 17 of them strikes. "Everything felt fine, so that's a plus. The first batter was good, but other than that I was a little wild at times. I kind of got behind in the count a lot 1-0 so it didn't leave me a lot of options in spring training to throw breaking stuff. I got out of the inning, so that's important."
Bundy, who primarily used a 93-94 mph fastball, said he wasn't pleased with the outing.
"I expect better than that from myself," Bundy said. "No runs, (but) that walk kind of gets to me a little bit. I'll have two or three days off before I get in another game. ... Can't expect a whole lot your first outing, don't expect, 98, 99, 100 miles an hour yet. But that fastball felt good for the most part it was low in the zone. I think I threw a couple up, but in and out was really where I was missing."
Around the horn
Outfielder Nolan Reimold wasn't in Saturday's starting lineup, but Showalter said he's slated to start Sunday's road game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin. ... Kevin Gausman, the Orioles' first-round pick in 2012, will make his Grapefruit League debut Sunday. Right-hander Jair Jurrjens will start that game.. ... Showalter indicated that with 29 pitchers in camp, starters Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen could get work in minor league camp to build their innings. ... Left-hander Brian Matusz will start Monday's home game against the New York Yankees. He will likely go one inning. He will be followed by Mark Hendrickson, Daniel McCutchen and Pedro Strop. ... Jackson (lower back stiffness) returned to team workouts Saturday and is scheduled to make the trip to play Sunday. ... Britton and Arrieta will each start on Wednesday's split-squad date. One will start the day road game against the Yankees in Tampa, the other the home night game against the Boston Red Sox.... The Orioles' minor leaguers will play two games at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg -- on March 10 against the Philadelphia Phillies and March 14 against the Atlanta Braves. Tickets for those games at $10.
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