Schoop shines in O's intrasquad games

Schoop shines in O's intrasquad games

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles played their second intrasquad game on Thursday in preparation for Friday's opener, and the game ended on a fun touch, with video coordinator Mike Silverman behind the plate.

"He got a little cold-footed in the meeting this morning. I didn't think he was going to pull the trigger," manager Buck Showalter said of Silverman, who served as umpire for the final half-inning in the top of the fifth and called out infielder Jonathan Schoop. "Now all the pitchers want him. We've got somebody who will call strike three.

"It's a lot easier for Jonathan to take if he's hit a home run that day and had a good day. He's playing with house money."

Schoop, who went down looking to end the game, has homered twice in two days, and Showalter has praised the organization's top position-player prospect for growing into his body and seeming more comfortable this spring.

"Jon's in a good place," Showalter said. "I think he's had some very good role models. And as I've said before with Jonathan, it's a matter of when, not if. That's what we'll try to judge here. He's off to a pretty good start here. That's for sure."

Jemile Weeks, who is also competing for the second base job, singled and walked in the game and Showalter hailed Weeks -- who took second on a fly ball -- for being a plus runner.

Wei-Yin Chen -- who started for the visiting team -- won a 12-pitch battle with Delmon Young in the first inning, throwing a nasty changeup that had a little cut action to it, while closer candidate Tommy Hunter was clocked at 95 mph.

T.J. McFarland retired Nelson Cruz, who grounded out in his lone at-bat, and got three ground balls in a 1-2-3 frame.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for 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.