Eshelman will start against Yankees; Akin gives up Cruz homer in 3-3 tie; Rutschman gets first hit -
Spring Training

Eshelman will start against Yankees; Akin gives up Cruz homer in 3-3 tie; Rutschman gets first hit

Sarasota, Florida-What’s happening? Thomas Eshelman will start against the New York Yankees in Tampa on Friday night. Eshelman, who’s on a minor league contract, has allowed a run on two hits in five innings.

Rule 5 pick Brandon Bailey, who was scheduled to start Thursday, will pitch in relief on Friday.

Deivi Garcia will start for the Yankees. It’s the first of two meetings in three days with the Yankees, who will play in Sarasota on Sunday.

Evan Phillips, who hasn’t pitched since February 26, is dealing with right elbow soreness, manager Brandon Hyde said.

“We gave him an MRI. It showed OK, mild, but he’s getting a second opinion,” Hyde said. “That’s why you haven’t seen him out there this last handful of days.”

Phillips allowed three runs on a hit with two walks while recording two outs against Boston on February 23. On February 26, he pitched a hitless inning against Atlanta.

“It was a little sore,” Hyde said about Phillips’ elbow. “We got him checked out. We got an MRI done. It came back as nothing serious. He’s just getting a second opinion.”

What’s happened?-Keegan Akin allowed a run on three hits in 2 2/3 innings as the Orioles played to a 3-3 tie with the Minnesota Twins before 5,926 at Ed Smith Stadium on Thursday.

Akin has given up five runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings this spring.

Nelson Cruz hit a long home run in the first. The next batter, Miguel Sano, hit a sinking drive to left-center field that Cedric Mullins ran down, dove and caught for an exceptional play. Mullins played outstanding center field for the Orioles in late 2018 and early 2019 before he was sent to the minors because he wasn’t hitting.

“Cruz is going to hit his home runs,” Akin said. “That’s what he’s done in his whole career, but for Cedric to make that play for me, is huge. He’s a really good outfielder, got a lot of speed out there. That was huge to get me out of the inning.”

Akin said the pitch to Cruz was supposed to be a changeup but it turned into a cutter.

“Offspeed, I always struggle,” Akin said. “Going forward, it’s mix off my fastball, and mix those in.”

First baseman Chris Davis drove in a run in the third inning on an opposite-field single to left. The Orioles scored two runs to tie it at 3 in the ninth. Catcher Adley Rutschman began the rally with his first spring training hit, a single to right.

Mychal Givens allowed a run in the fourth inning. Hunter Harvey pitched a scoreless fifth. Dean Kremer pitched two scoreless innings, allowing three hits.

Shortstop José Iglesias didn’t play for the second consecutive game. He said that his right quadriceps injury could have stemmed from dehydration.

“It’s just normal spring training soreness,” Iglesias said. “We’ll just take a day. I’m better today.”

Iglesias said he could have played on Thursday.

Catcher Austin Wynns, who was hit in the groin by a foul ball on Monday, returned to the lineup. He was 1-for-2, catching the last four innings.

“Frightened? You tell me,” Wynns said. “If you get hit in your [groin], how would you feel? It’s just part of it, though. Just take 48 hours, good to go now. It’s just part of the profession.”

Infielder Ramón Urias is out because of shin splints.

“He’s day-to-day,” Hyde said. “Hopefully, he’ll be out there in a couple of days.”

Left-hander Tommy Milone, who was supposed to throw a simulated game in Sarasota this week, could throw on the side Friday. He’s still hampered by a sore trapezius muscle.

“We’re a little bit unsure on his game schedule,” Hyde said. “We want him to throw a side, hopefully, in the next couple of days, and we’ll go from there.”

What’s up with Richard Urena? Urena was claimed on waivers in January, taken off the roster when Andrew Velazquez was claimed on waivers and outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk on February 23.

He was 0-for-2 and played the final four innings at shortstop.

The 24-year-old infielder hit .253 in 91 games with the Toronto Blue Jays from 2017-2019.

Urena is part of a spirited infield competition.

“I’m a natural infielder, and I truly believe I can play multiple positions to help the team,” Urena said through a translator.

What’s what? – Eshelman was called Tom with the Orioles because that’s what he was known by with the Philadelphia Phillies. He’s always preferred Thomas.

“My mom was like, ‘Why is it always Tom now? It was always Thomas.’ Tom stuck with me for a good five years … My mom doesn’t like nicknames.”

What’s the word? “Ideally, you’d like it to be a day off for guys, a way to give guys breathers as a DH day, so the way our roster is, it would be ideal for that.”-Hyde on why he wants not to have a regular designated hitter 

What’s the number? .111. That’s Rutschman’s spring training average. He’s 1-for-9 with a walk in seven games. 

What’s the record? 7-5-2. The Orioles play the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field at 6:35 p.m. on Friday night. The game will be broadcast on 105.7 The Fan.



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