Steve Pearce and Conor Jackson, two players competing against each other trying to win a roster spot with the Orioles, have been the team’s top two hitters over the first 10 games of the Grapefruit League schedule.
They continued their scorching springs, combining for three of the Orioles' four homers in Tuesday’s 6-6 10-inning tie with the Blue Jays.
Pearce homered twice and Jackson added three hits, including a homer.
In six spring games, Pearce -- who spent last season shuffling between the Orioles, Yankees and Astros along the waiver wire – is now 6-for-11 with three homers and nine RBIs in six spring games.
Jackson, a minor league signing who has played in 60 major league games just once since 2009, is 9-for-19 with three homers and six RBIs.
Both are battling for a reserve outfielder-first baseman role.
"Steve's swinging the bat well too," Jackson said. "It's one of those things. It's competition. Competition breeds success. I've always said that from the first day of my career. When you don't have that competitive guy pushing you, you kind of stay stagnant as a player."
Right-hander Steve Johnson, making his first spring training start after his first two outings came in relief, struggled with his control early, allowing two runs over two innings, including a solo homer by Andy LaRoche in the second.
“I felt good physically, so that was good, but obviously the results weren't really what I wanted,” said Johnson, who typically has excellent control. “I wanted to go out there and pound the zone. Just couldn't really get in a rhythm today, especially early. Second inning, I felt a little better and pounded the zone a little more. [In the] first inning, I just left the ball up a lot.”
Pearce, Jackson combine for three of Orioles' four homers in 6-6 tie with Blue Jays
Baltimore Sun | Mar 6