BOS@BAL: Showalter discusses Lombardozzi acquisition

NORFOLK, Va. -- The link between the Orioles and Tides has been strong since the organizations teamed up in 2007. Since then, 125 players have played for both Norfolk and Baltimore.

The Tides' success, though, has increased under manager Ron Johnson, who has guided the Tides to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1990-91.

"It's probably the most difficult job to manage," Showalter said. "At that level, when you get the right guy, it's like gold. Ronny's been that way for us. He's a great evaluator. I spent a lot of time on the phone with him. He's a real sincere grinder. We're lucky to have him."

Tillman remembers the time before Johnson when the Tides -- and Orioles -- didn't enjoy as much success.

"Our clubhouse has changed dramatically in the last couple years," Tillman said. "I was here in 2009 when things weren't going so well. It's been a big change, but we're having a lot of fun doing it."

Wieters goes deep in O's rain-shortened exhibition

Outlook: Despite average, Wieters has 20-homer pop

NORFOLK, Va. -- In his return to Norfolk, Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters belted a three-run home run into the home bullpen in the second inning and the Orioles hung on to beat their Minor League affiliate, 4-3, on Saturday at Harbor Park.

The game was called in the middle of the sixth after a 30-minute weather delay because of field conditions and the chance of more rain.

Wieter's homer came after Adam Jones and Nelson Cruz, one of the Orioles' prized free-agent signings, singled.

Tides center fielder Julio Borbon doubled to score left fielder Quintin Berry in the third. Cord Phelps lined a double down the right-field line to bring home Borbon and make it 3-2.

Berry made an impressive play in the fourth, leaping and crashing into the left-field wall to catch an opposite-field shot by Wieters. Berry wasn't hurt on the play, evidenced by another near-highlight play in the fifth. Chris Davis lined a ball near the foul line and Berry's fully extended dive came up short as the ball bounced out.

The Tides loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth off reliever Mike Wright, but after an RBI single by Berry, the inning was stopped because of pitch count.

Suk-min Yoon got the start for Baltimore, while Zach Davies started for Norfolk.

Davies threw four innings and struck out five, twice punching out Davis. Davies walked two and allowed seven hits and four earned runs.

Yoon, another Orioles free-agent signing, allowed four hits and two earned runs and struck out two.

Schoop among four named to O's 25-man roster

Top Prospects: Jonathan Schoop, 2B, Orioles

NORFOLK, Va. -- Highly touted second-base prospect Jonathan Schoop made the 25-man roster, manager Buck Showalter announced after the game. Outfielders Delmon Young and Steve Pearce and reliever Evan Meek also made the team.

Pitchers Kevin Gausman and T.J. McFarland and infielder Jemile Weeks will start in Norfolk.

"I worked hard for this," Schoop said. "After the season I went home and I said if I wanna achieve my goal and play in the Major League -- I gotta taste of it last year and I never wanna go back. That was my mentality."

As for how Showalter plans to use Schoop, that's still uncertain.

"Obviously we think he can make contributions," Showalter said. "We'll see if the way we end up using Jonathan is best for, No. 1, the Major League club and, No. 2, for Jonathan. Hopefully we can mesh those two things."

Showalter praised Pearce for his hitting this spring, Meek for his consistency and Young for his effort.

"First guy at the ballpark," Showalter said of Young. "I had a hard time beating him there and last guy to leave. After he found out today, he played the game just as hard."

Wieters, Tillman reflect on Norfolk experiences

Chris Tillman chats with Ron Darling from O's camp

NORFOLK, Va. -- Orioles catcher Matt Wieters and pitcher Chris Tillman expressed gratitude for their time in Norfolk, considering their stops there a crucial part of their development.

They took different routes to the big league club. Wieters played 39 games for the Tides in 2009, batting .305 with five home runs and 30 RBIs.

"I only spent a short time here, but the time I spent here was great," Wieters said. "It's different. It's a little bit different feeling playing at your former stadium. Harbor Park is part of my coming up and part of my Minor League battle."

Tillman spent parts of four seasons with Norfolk, compiling a 30-27 record and 3.61 ERA. He stopped by the home clubhouse to see former teammates and will turn his attention to Monday as the Opening Day starter.

"I learned a lot here," Tillman said, "and the fans were good to me and I really appreciate it."

Worth noting

• Wieters is confident in the pitching rotation, saying, "They're still youngish, but they've got big league experience, which is invaluable. I've been able to catch some of these guys and know their successes and know what we still need to work on together."

• Innings were ended after 20 to 25 pitches to keep the game moving while rain continued plaguing the exhibition. The announced attendance was 10,156.