BRADENTON, Florida-What’s happening? Keegan Akin will make his first start this spring when the Orioles play the Miami Marlins at 1:05 p.m. Saturday. Akin allowed three runs on four hits in three innings against Philadelphia on Monday. Akin will face Sandy Alcantara, who was the Marlins’ representative in the All-Star Game last year.
Brady Rodgers (sore arm) will throw on flat ground. Kohl Stewart (sore biceps) will throw a side session. Alex Wells (oblique muscle) will throw a bullpen session.
What’s happened?— Rule 5 pick Brandon Bailey pitched two hitless innings in his first start of spring training as the Orioles beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 11-4 at LECOM Park on Friday. Bailey walked two in the first inning.
“I think it was good to just get my confidence back,” Bailey said. The Orioles scored two runs in the top of the first, and Bailey had to regain his rhythm.
“It took me a second to find my groove,” Bailey said.
He’ll continue to get a long look because of his Rule 5 status.
“I’m trying to go into it with the mindset I’m just like everybody else,” Bailey said. “I’ve got to earn my spot on this team, and I think if I continue to try to focus on my work ethic and get my work in and competing like everybody else, the rest will take care of itself.”
Bailey has given up one run in four innings in two appearances.
Shortstop Richie Martin had three hits and drove in four runs. His sixth-inning triple gave the Orioles a 10-4 lead.
“I’m not in the position where I can be lax,” said Martin, who was a Rule 5 choice last year. “I always play like it’s my last game. I think that’s the mentality you have to have every game, no matter who you are.”
Since Martin no longer has Rule 5 protection, the Orioles can option the shortstop to the minor leagues. The Orioles want Martin, who hit .208 in 2019, to work on his offense.
“You’ve got to be productive if you want to stick in his game,” Martin said. “[Defense] was their priority last year. Nobody likes struggling.”
Ryan Mountcastle, Hanser Alberto and Andrew Valazquez each had two hits. Velazquez had two stolen bases.
Outfielder Yusniel Diaz struck out twice in his first spring action. He’s been limited by a shoulder injury.
Mountcastle made his first start at first base after starting in left field. “I wanted to get him some time out there,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He’ll be playing both spots this spring.”
David Hess relieved Bailey and pitched a scoreless third but loaded the bases in the fourth. Brian Gonzalez, who was the team’s top draft choice in 2014, allowed a grand slam to John Ryan Murphy.
Wade LeBlanc, Miguel Castro and Hunter Harvey threw simulated innings in Sarasota.
What’s up with Marcos Díplan? The 23-year-old right-hander was claimed on waivers in December from the Minnesota Twins. Díplan has never pitched above Double-A and is in camp as a non-roster invite. Díplan allowed four runs on four hits while getting just two outs against Tampa Bay on February 25.
“I would like to show them my talent,” Díplan said through a translator. “And the way I handle myself so they can start trusting me.”
Growing up in the Dominican Republic, Díplan’s childhood idol was Pedro Martinez.
“He was always aggressive,” Díplan said. “He was one of the best.”
What’s what? Brett Hollander is the latest addition to the Orioles’ broadcast team. Hollander, who was a longtime anchor of WBAL Radio’s Sportsline, and most recently hosted a political talk show bearing his name, will contribute to television and radio broadcasts.
Hollander’s first appearances will come on Monday when the game with the Tampa Bay Rays be on both MASN and 105.7 The Fan.
What’s the word? “Starting is what I’m most comfortable with. I definitely like to have a routine.”-Bailey on whether there’s a difference between starting and relieving.
What’s the number? 0-7-1. That’s the Pirates’ record. They’re the only team in baseball without a win so far this spring.
What’s the record? 4-4. Since dropping both split-squad games on Tuesday, the Orioles have won three straight.
The Orioles play the Miami Marlins at 1:05 p.m. at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota on Saturday. The game will be broadcast on 105.7 The Fan.