FORT MYERS, Fla.-What’s happening?—Mike Wright starts against the Tampa Bay Rays this afternoon. Wright pitched two scoreless innings against Minnesota on Saturday, allowing three hits and striking out one.
Wright will be followed by John Means, Yefry Ramirez, who started Saturday’s game, Josh Rogers and Pedro Araujo.
Dylan Bundy has been scheduled for his first start on Thursday against Philadelphia. Andrew Cashner and Alex Cobb have been tentatively scheduled for starts within the next week.
Mychal Givens and Richard Bleier will be scheduled for games soon, manager Brandon Hyde said. Bleier will have an additional live batting practice before he’s ready to pitch in a game.
What’s happened?—Nate Karns allowed three runs, one unearned, on four hits in 1 2/3 innings as the Orioles lost to the Minnesota Twins, 7-1, Monday.
Karns walked two, threw two wild pitches and struck out two. He missed last season because of an elbow injury and hasn’t pitched in a major league game since May 2017.
“I may not have gotten the results that I wanted, but that’s not what we’re focused on right now,” Karns said.
“Definitely been a minute since I’ve been out there so I had a little bit of adrenaline going. At the same time, it was nice to kind of get out there and compete and see what I had against the other team. I got some feedback, so I’m going to go back between starts and get back to work.”
Hunter Harvey allowed two runs on three hits in one inning. He struck out one in his first outing since June 1.
“Body felt good, arm felt good. Could be better, but I think it was OK for a first time out,” Harvey said. “First time, to get off the field is the main thing…It was a good day.”
Hyde said his main concern with Karns and Harvey was their health.
“I checked on how they’re feeling, and they’re feeling great,” Hyde said. “I think they both were so excited to get out there.
“…The results aren’t what probably they wanted, but I was happy to get them out there, and both showed good stuff.”
The Twins’ Byron Buxton was 3-for-3 with five RBIs. This spring, Buxton is 5-for-5 with 10 RBIs.
Rule 5 draft choices Richie Martin and Drew Jackson started at shortstop and second.
“They’re both really, really athletic,” Hyde said. “Jackson’s interesting in that he’s played multiple spots in his career. He’s going to play center field coming up shortly.”
What’s up with?-Luis Ortiz. In his first outing, he allowed two runs on three hits. Ortiz, who was acquired from Milwaukee in the Jonathan Schoop trade last July, is trying to win one of the final starting spots.
Ortiz has lost 25 pounds since last season and is happy with his improved physique.
“I put in a lot of work,” Ortiz said. “Last year put a bad taste in my mouth on how I finished and how my weight was. Something I had to change, especially with a new organization.”
Ortiz made his major league debut on Sept. 7 and gave up three runs in a relief appearance against the Tampa Bay Rays. He also made one start and lasted less than two innings.
Ortiz said he dropped the weight with the help of a nutritionist and the Orioles’ conditioning coaches.
“They were really on it with me, and it came down to me committing myself to it,” Ortiz said. “It was probably one of the toughest offseasons…It got me to where I’m at right now.”
What’s what? The public address announcer at Hammond Stadium invited fans to stand up and stretch their legs—except there were only two outs in the top of the seventh. When the third out was finally made, he said, “Now, you can stand up and stretch your legs.”
What’s the word? –“When I toe the rubber in a regular season game, I can say that’s a milestone. This is just one step in that direction, and we’re not quite there, yet.”-Karns on whether pitching in his first spring game represented a milestone.
What’s the number? 2. The Orioles made two errors, one by third baseman Renato Nunez and another by left fielder Eric Young Jr.
“We didn’t play our best game defensively,” Hyde said. “That led to higher pitch counts and more traffic than we’d like.”
What’s the record? 2-1. The Orioles face Tampa Bay in Sarasota today at 1:05 p.m.