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Jackson, defense have tough day vs. O's

Jackson, defense have tough day vs. O's

Jackson, defense have tough day vs. O's
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Propelled by big days from Jake Arrieta, Adam Jones and Matt Wieters, the Orioles cruised past the Nationals, 12-3, on Saturday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium.

Nationals starter Edwin Jackson, who signed a one-year deal this winter, was roughed up over just 3 2/3 innings, and exited with the score 10-1. He was charged with seven earned runs on 11 hits and two walks, though he wasn't helped by a defense that committed four errors, as well as his own errant pickoff throw.

"Aside from the two walks, everything else I did according to plan," Jackson said. "[I wanted to] go out and be aggressive and make them put the ball in play. I have a lot of confidence in myself. When we start playing [in the regular season], I'll be ready to go for sure. Of course it's always good to be lights-out in Spring Training, but sometimes it doesn't happen like that. You go out and you continue to feel better. You make your pitches as you come along, but these games, as far as numbers, the only thing I don't like is when I have games where I'm walking. Other than that, I can handle being hit around."

Wieters connected on his second homer of the spring, a three-run shot in the third inning, and went 4-for-4 with six RBIs. Jones went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Rule 5 Draft pick Ryan Flaherty continued to solidify his case to make the Opening Day roster with an RBI single, increasing his spring total in RBIs to eight, which trails only Jones for the team lead.

"I think a game or two ago, he was starting to get loaded a little more and not drift [with his stance]," manager Buck Showalter said of Wieters, who entered the game hitting .129 with one homer and one RBI. "He knows what he's doing, but it's one thing to have your brain and knowledge say one thing and [have] your body cooperate."

The Nationals' offense couldn't get much going off Orioles starter Arrieta, who allowed a first-inning run and didn't allow another baserunner until the fifth. Wilson Ramos drove in Washington's only run off Arrieta, who retired 12 in a row at one point and also picked up a pair of strikeouts in his five-inning start.

Nolan Reimold hit his first homer of the spring off Nats reliever Ryan Mattheus in the bottom of the fifth. Dontrelle Willis made his Orioles debut in relief of Arrieta and issued three consecutive walks, which Washington used to score a pair of runs.

Up next: Stephen Strasburg will make his fifth appearance of the spring at 1:05 p.m. ET on Sunday against the Mets at Space Coast Stadium in Viera. Strasburg is 0-3 with a 5.52 ERA this spring, though his most recent outing was his best. He threw five innings and allowed one run on two hits and a walk while striking out three against the Mets on Tuesday.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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