Ortiz, relievers look sharp in overcoming E's and O's

  • Updated: March 15, 2007 - 9:47 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Ramon Ortiz was an afterthought this winter in a whirlwind free-agent market, but the right-hander has been plenty reliable this spring for the Minnesota Twins.

Ortiz struck out four and gave up two unearned runs in four innings Thursday, pitching the Twins past the Baltimore Orioles 4-2.

Signed to a one-year, $3.1 million contract in late January, Ortiz has been solidifying his spot behind Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana in a rotation that is still unsettled.

His spring ERA is 0.75 after giving up three hits and one walk in Thursday's outing in front of a sellout crowd of 8,122 fans at Hammond Stadium.

"That's what I want to do every time. I want to throw the ball down," Ortiz said.

After two rough seasons in the NL, one with Cincinnati and one with Washington, Ortiz has been happy to be back in a league he's familiar with. He has repeatedly told reporters this spring how much he enjoys his new team — and how much he loves baseball.

"I don't think about my position in the rotation," Ortiz said. "For me, it doesn't matter. Whether you're two or three or whatever, my day is when the manager gives me the ball. The more innings I pitch, the better I feel. You know what my best day is? My best day is when I get to throw the ball."

Said manager Ron Gardenhire: "We're trying not to put a number on them. We've got a ways to go. You can put a No. 1 on Santana. Nothing is a lock after Santana."

Ortiz beat the Twins in Game 2 of the 2002 AL Championship Series, but that's in the past for him.

"I don't want to think about beating Minnesota," Ortiz said. "I'm here now. I like this team, and I want to help this team get to the playoffs."

Orioles starter Adam Loewen is also having a solid spring. The 6-foot-5 left-hander, the fourth overall draft pick by Baltimore in 2002, struck out four in four innings while walking one and giving up two hits that included a solo homer by Michael Cuddyer.

"He looked excellent," Orioles pitching coach Leo Mazzone said of Loewen, who has a 2.25 spring ERA. "All of his starts have been good. He's pitching extremely well. He's ready to pitch in the big leagues."

A native Canadian who missed a large part of spring training last year to play in the World Baseball Classic, Loewen was confident he has progressed from last season — when he started at Double-A Bowie.

Loewen went 6-6 with a 5.37 ERA for Baltimore after being called to the big leagues for good after the All-Star break.

"I'm a lot further along than I was last year," Loewen said. "With the World Baseball Classic, I really didn't have a chance to make the team."

Former Twins infielder Terry Tiffee went 1-for-3 for the Orioles. Jay Payton went 1-for-3 with an RBI in a two-run first inning against Ortiz, when second baseman Tommy Watkins committed an error that allowed Aubrey Huff to score.

Garrett Jones hit a two-run double in the bottom of the eighth for Minnesota to break the tie. Watkins made up for his miscue by hitting a sacrifice fly that scored Jones in the second and starting a game-ending double play in the field in the ninth.

Notes: Ken Harvey, a long-shot designated hitter candidate for the Twins, had knee surgery Thursday and will be out four to six weeks.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago 17 4th Qtr 2:44
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Nashville
ULM 54 FINAL
Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
Austin Peay 74 2nd Half 4:38
Brown 51
Princeton 47 2nd Half 3:01
Texas-El Paso 51
Coastal Carolina 40 2nd Half
Chattanooga 35
Kansas 43 2nd Half
Rhode Island 25
Wisconsin 5 1st Half 17:12
Georgetown 5
FIU 0 1st Half 19:38
USC Upstate 0
Long Island 3:00 PM
Stony Brook
San Diego 3:30 PM
Xavier
Illinois 4:00 PM
Indiana State
Western Ky 5:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Cal State Fullerton 5:00 PM
Wright State
Michigan State 5:30 PM
Rider
UCLA 6:00 PM
North Carolina
Marquette 7:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Long Beach State 7:30 PM
Western Mich
Stephen F Austin 8:00 PM
Prairie View
UAB 8:30 PM
Florida
Rice 8:30 PM
Mercer
San Jose St 10:00 PM
Washington
Washington St 10:59 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Baylor 10:59 PM
Memphis
LSU 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(6) TCU 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Hartford 43 FINAL
Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 47 2nd Half 2:55
San Diego State 53
East Carolina 51 2nd Half 4:07
(22) Syracuse 64
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 0 1st Half 18:17
Washington 2
Wichita State 2:50 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Wisconsin 3:15 PM
(1) South Carolina
BYU 5:00 PM
BYU-Hawaii
Charlotte 5:00 PM
Montana
Illinois 5:00 PM
(9) Kentucky
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
LSU 0
Central Michigan 7:00 PM
Richmond
Oklahoma 7:15 PM
South Florida
Princeton 7:30 PM
Wake Forest
(19) Oregon State 8:00 PM
Butler
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What do you think of the new Twins home uniforms?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close