SARASOTA, Fla.-What’s happening? –The Orioles play the Minnesota Twins again today. It will be their third and final visit to Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers this spring.
David Hess will start against the Twins’ Michael Pineda. Josh Rogers, Nate Karns, Richard Bleier, Mychal Givens and Josh Lucas are also scheduled to pitch.
Manager Brandon Hyde started Austin Hays in center, and Cedric Mullins in left Thursday.
“I’m going to continue to rotate guys,” Hyde said. “Put guys in spots where they have a chance to play throughout the season. I wouldn’t read too much into that. That’s just Cedric getting some looks in left field. Austin played right [Tuesday] night, so I wanted to get him in center today.”
Innings for relievers are getting scarcer as the innings for starters increase, and Miguel Castro and Gabriel Ynoa were sent to the minor league complex at Twin Lakes to pitch in minor league games. That will continue, Hyde said.
What’s happened?— Dylan Bundy became the first Orioles starter to complete five innings in the team’s 7-6 loss to Minnesota on Thursday.
Bundy allowed four runs on seven hits. Three runs were scored in the fifth inning. Bundy threw 74 pitches.
“They made me work a little bit in the fifth,” Bundy said. “That’s what we need in spring training, to work through some things.”
Bundy’s longest previous outing was three innings. This outing was much better than his previous three.
“Probably getting ahead of batters today,” Bundy said. “Thought the slider was a little bit more crisp. Actually, I had a changeup that was moving today, unlike last outing when it was moving too much for me. Fastball command, for the most part, was a little bit better today.”
Hyde was pleased with what he saw from Bundy.
“Especially those first four innings, I thought he was sharp,” Hyde said.
“Everything was good. Mound presence was great. I thought he showed two-plus breaking balls, really good changeup. I thought his fastball had more hop than he’s had the first few starts.”
Chris Davis was 1-for-2 with his second opposite-field single in as many games. He also walked.
In his second game of the spring, Mark Trumbo was hitless in two at-bats.
“I’m looking to get these guys at-bats,” Hyde said about Davis and Trumbo. “We’re just going to get these guys as many at-bats as possible the next two weeks.”
Mullins hit a leadoff home run and Jace Peterson hit a two-run shot. Peterson had three RBIs.
Renato Nunez left the game when he fouled a ball off his left knee. He suffered a bruise, and is day-to-day, Hyde said.
Paul Fry pitched a hitless eighth in relief of Jimmy Yacabonis. Fry has allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings this spring.
Branden Kline gave up a run in the ninth and was the losing pitcher.
What’s up with? Andrew Cashner. In his first three starts, Cashner had an 8.64 ERA and has yet to complete four innings. That’s not a concern for Hyde.
“You would like to see that,” Hyde said. “But we can see length a lot of times with working more in the bullpen after the start or continuing to throw when their day is done on the mound during the game. Ideally, you’d like to see it during the game.
“That would be the goal for all [the starters] those last couple of weeks, is to really drive their pitch count up, to start getting more in-game shape these last two weeks.”
Cashner likely has two starts left.
What’s what? Each day, the Orioles bring several players from minor league camp to serve as extra players. One pitcher, Matt Wotherspoon, has been in four games, and he’s been used to finish out innings when another pitcher exceeded his pitch count.
Position players serve as extras to play the last few innings, and many of those were early cuts from the Orioles’ spring training roster, including infielder Zach Vincej and outfielders Ryan McKenna and Mike Yastrzemski.
Hyde doesn’t ask for certain pitchers to be brought over.
“I don’t with the pitchers just because I don’t know the minor league guys very well,” Hyde said.
“Wotherspoon, when he’s come over, has pitched well. That’s always a tough situation for those guys. When they come, they come with traffic on the bases…When they’re coming in, usually it’s because there’s bad stuff happening for us, and they’re caught in a situation with a couple of runners on, and they have to try and weasel their way out of it.”
Wotherspoon warmed up in the ninth, and had Kline allowed an additional baserunner, he would have made yet another appearance.
Hyde does offer suggestions on which position players to summon, and he likes to see players he’s seen in camp.
What’s the word? “He got a little fatigued there in the fifth, but it’s exactly what we were hoping for.”-Hyde on Bundy’s performance.
What’s the number? .455. Non-roster utility player Jack Reinheimer is batting .455. He had a hit in his only at-bat on Thursday and is 10-for-22 this spring with a home run and two RBIs.
What’s the record? 10-9-2. The Orioles play the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers at 1:05 p.m.