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Relief trio sees action in O's exhibition blowout


SARASOTA, Fla. -- A trio of Orioles relievers made their Grapefruit League debuts in Wednesday's 19-7 win over Team Spain, with Luis Ayala, Darren O'Day and closer Jim Johnson each pitching an inning.

"It was a good work day is what I thought," said Johnson, who was slowed last spring with a back issue. "I got what I needed out of it."

O'Day and Johnson -- both coming off career seasons -- are being slow-played like Ayala and have pitched in several simulated games on the back fields at the Ed Smith Stadium complex leading up to Wednesday. O'Day entered in the seventh inning with a 13-run lead and allowed a pair of runs on two hits, while Johnson pitched the eighth and gave up an unearned run after surrendering a leadoff triple.

"We've already got it kind of lined up," Johnson said of the rest of his spring schedule. "The next outing we got is for the 10th [of March], and then if things change, things change. But we got it set up that I will do a little bit of everything. I will do back-to-back, maybe an inning-plus or something like that. We have it all laid out as to where we're going to finish so that we're ready. I get like two days off before the season starts."

Ayala pitched a scoreless fourth inning and allowed two hits with a strikeout. The right-hander pitched in the Mexican Winter League playoffs before coming down to Sarasota, so the Orioles have used caution in bringing him along this spring since he's already in game shape.

"I'm pretty sure we'll pick our spots with them," manager Buck Showalter said of Ayala, Johnson and O'Day. "I don't think you'll see them pitch on the same day all the time. We'll see. I am going to treat each one of them a little differently."

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.

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
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