FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Manager Buck Showalter joked this week that he wasn't sure which of his top pitching prospects he wanted to start in Saturday night's Grapefruit League game against the Boston Red Sox -- for fear the other one would hurt himself trying to outdo his buddy.
Ultimately, the decision was made to put 2011 first-round pick Dylan Bundy ahead of 2012 first-round pick Kevin Gausman.
Bundy got the start and the win, but Gausman had the smoother, more eye-popping outing as they combined to allow just one unearned run through five innings in the Orioles' 5-2 victory at JetBlue Park.
"It was cool," Gausman said. "We are around each other every day and I think we are paired in just about every sentence to Orioles fans, so obviously it was cool."
Making his fourth appearance this spring, Gausman pitched so effectively that he was sent out for a third inning. He allowed two singles, no walks, no runs and struck out three batters, including Boston outfielder Jonny Gomes twice.
The 22-year-old, who was taken with the fourth pick of the 2012 draft out of LSU, threw 25 of his 33 pitches for strikes. His fastball sat between 94 and 96 mph and he hit 98 mph once.
"I felt good and that was probably the biggest thing, I felt comfortable out there," Gausman said. "It was fun. It's always fun to be out there and to pitch in a place you've never been. It was a great atmosphere."
In his four spring outings, Gausman has allowed two runs on eight hits and three walks in 72/3 innings while striking out nine.
Just 20 and considered baseball's top minor league pitcher, Bundy had trouble with his control against a Red Sox lineup that was without five regular starters.
He threw 35 pitches, 18 for strikes, walking two and allowing a hit while striking out one batter. The lone hit was a two-out double to right by Mitch Maier that Conor Jackson mishandled in the corner, allowing Will Middlebrooks, who had reached on a walk, to score from first.
"Two walks. I'm never happy with that," Bundy said.
Through much of Bundy's tremendous season last year -- which began at Single-A Delmarva and ended with the Orioles -- he was featuring a mid-90s fastball that occasionally hit 98. On Saturday, he threw his fastball between 91 and 93 mph, with one registering at 94.
He was asked after the game if he paid attention to velocity figures.
"A little bit, because last year I was throwing harder," Bundy said. "But I'm still working on some things, kind of figuring out what I was doing, high school ball and stuff like that, trying to get back to it."
Markakis will have MRI
Nick Markakis, who has not played since March 1 because of neck spasms and stiffness, will undergo a precautionary MRI, likely on Monday, Showalter said Saturday.
Showalter said he didn't want to downplay the significance of the injury and would wait to see what the tests showed.
"When you get something that kind of crops up twice, you know, information is a good thing. Until you get all the information ... we'll see. I haven't been told anything to make me think there's a sense of urgency with that," Showalter said. "I asked Nick about it and he goes, 'Whatever.' We'll see."
Markakis, 28, said Wednesday that he was feeling better and would have played through the discomfort if it were the regular season. But he was playing with his sons Thursday and felt the pain again. And it hasn't gotten better.
"It wasn't much improved today," Showalter said Saturday. "About the same as yesterday. It gets better as the day goes on, and when he wakes up, it's real stiff."
Wada impresses Showalter
Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, a former Japanese All-Star who signed a two-year deal with the Orioles last offseason but didn't pitch because of an elbow injury, threw off a full mound again Saturday.
Showalter was there to watch.
"Pretty impressive," Showalter said of Wada, who had Tommy John surgery in May. "He's throwing the ball, fastball and changeup, and that's pretty fun to watch him throw because it just reminds me of what he can be for us.
"He's got a chance to be pretty good. If we get him back in May it bodes well. I'm excited about where he is."
There is still a possibility the Orioles will place the 32-year-old Wada on the 60-day disabled list to start the season. That would give the club another spot on its 40-man roster and guarantee that Wada would not be eligible to pitch in the big leagues until the end of May. It would also ensure that he wouldn't try to rush back.
Robinson sets off brawl
Orioles minor league catcher Chris Robinson inadvertently triggered a bench-clearing brawl Saturday in the ninth inning of Canada's 10-3 win over Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.
Run differential is a tiebreaker in the tournament, so even though Canada led 9-3 heading into the inning, Robinson led off with a bunt single. Mexico pitcher Arnold Leon plunked the next hitter, Rene Tosoni, leading to the brawl in the center of the diamond at Chase Field in Phoenix.
"We want to play the game hard," Robinson said. "That's the way I've always played."
Both managers blamed the situation on the tiebreaker and how it encourages teams to break baseball's unwritten rules. Seven players were ejected, and Mexico was eliminated from the WBC with the loss.
Around the horn
Right-hander Chris Tillman has been scratched from today's start against the Pittsburgh Pirates with abdominal soreness. Showalter said giving Tillman a few extra days of rest is a precautionary move. Miguel Gonzalez will start in his place. The Pirates will start their top prospect, Gerrit Cole, who was the top pick in the 2011 draft, three spots ahead of Bundy. ... Orioles reliever Pedro Strop made his second WBC appearance for the Dominican Republic on Saturday and was dominant again. Strop faced three batters and struck out two in the Dominican's 6-3 victory over Spain. He has faced eight batters in the tournament and retired them all. ... The Orioles will have an intrasquad game during their off day Tuesday at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Among those pitching will be Jason Hammel, Steve Johnson, Jair Jurrjens, Troy Patton and Daniel Schlereth. Mike Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez, who have been reassigned to minor league camp, will also pitch..
Tribune Newspapers' Phil Rogers contributed to this article.
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