Orioles hit 3 home runs in win over Red Sox; Mateo fights for spot; Expanded rosters to start season - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Spring Training

Orioles hit 3 home runs in win over Red Sox; Mateo fights for spot; Expanded rosters to start season

Photo Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

SARASOTA, Florida-What’s happening? Jordan Lyles will make his first start for the Orioles in their game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida at 1:05 p.m. on Friday.

Chris Ellis, who has yet to pitch, Jorge López, Joey Krehbiel and Logan Gillaspie are also scheduled to pitch.

Tampa Bay will start Josh Fleming. Calvin Faucher, Ryan Thompson, David McKay, Zach Erwin, and Adrian De Horta are also scheduled to pitch.

The game will be televised on MLB.TV.

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde was impressed with the two scoreless innings thrown by Kyle Bradish on Wednesday night against the New York Yankees.

“I think that … everyone knows that we have open spots,” Hyde said. “Kyle is someone we’re looking at extremely closely. He’s going to get another start, and we’re going to continue to evaluate all these guys as we go along. There’s nothing set in stone at this point. I was really impressed with how he threw last night. He opened a lot of eyes, just his presence on the mound, and the stuff that he showed. He got off to a good start.”

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What’s happened?—Ryan McKenna hit a three-run home run, and Ryan Mountcastle and Ramón Urias also hit homers as the Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox, 8-5, before 4.702 at Ed Smith Stadium on Thursday night.

It was Urias’ second home run of the spring.

Bruce Zimmermann allowed a leadoff home run to Enrique Hernández in the first and a two-run home run to Ryan Fitzgerald in the second. Zimmermann, reliever Cole Sulser and catcher Anthony Bemboom, who were both scratched from the game, are among the Orioles suffering from flu-like symptoms.

“I found out after that he had a little bit of a stomach bug,” Hyde said. “He didn’t feel great coming off the mound.”

Zac Lowther followed Zimmermann and pitched two scoreless innings, giving up one hit, striking out three and walking one.

Lowther, who was 0-2 with a 9.28 in three starts against Boston last season, thought it was a good idea to face them again.

“A lot of what I’m going to take out of this is getting back on the field again in a game situation,” Lowther said. “Working with some of the new stuff I tried in the offseason, which was changing up my slider grip, just trying to get ahead of guys and finish them earlier.

“I struggled with that today, but I wanted to put myself in situations where I was uncomfortable early in the season. Being able to get that out of the way now I’m hoping that later down the road I’m more comfortable in those situations.”

Jorge Mateo had an RBI double as he tries to win a spot. Mateo was off to a nice start with the Orioles, hitting .280 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 32 games last season. He had five stolen bases and brought some speed and excitement to the team before injuring his back in September.

“We have a really good team right now,” Mateo said. “Everybody is focused. Everybody is together. That’s good for the team. When everybody is together, good things are going to happen.”

Mateo can play shortstop, second and third base, and the outfield.

“Be on the field, play hard, and I don’t care about what happens tomorrow. Just focus on today,” Mateo said.

What’s up with Bryan Baker? Baker, a 6-foot-6 right-hander, was claimed on waivers on November 8th from Toronto. The 27-year-old made his major league debut last September 5th, throwing a scoreless inning for the Blue Jays.

“I was definitely shocked because I didn’t know what was going on,” Baker said. “I was going through my offseason routine. It caught me off guard, but once it set in, I was really excited for the opportunity to come over here and show what I can do.”

Baker had a strong season with Triple-A Buffalo. He was 6-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 11 saves. He threw 41 1/3 innings, giving up just 18 hits.

After that season, he was hoping for a more extended major league chance.

“It required a lot of patience last year, for sure,” Baker said. “Just being able to keep my head down and doing what I’m supposed to do was really what got me through.”

What’s what? The best news of the spring is that Jimmy’s Famous Seafood is coming to Camden Yards. They’ll feature my favorite, Jimmy’s Crab Cake Egg Roll, Shrimp Roll, Crab Cake Roll, Crabby Fries and Mo Gaba’s Shrimp Roll.

The stand will be located in Section 72 in left field.

What’s the word? “You’re playing most of your games during the season at night, so having that atmosphere and the routine leading up to it is something you’re going to carry into the season.”-Lowther on playing night games in spring training 

What’s the number? 28. Major League Baseball is allowing teams to carry 28 players, two more than normal until May 2nd. Hyde isn’t sure whether the Orioles will carry 15 or 16 pitchers.

“I’m not jumping to anything yet,” Hyde said. “I think we’re really in serious evaluation mode right now, seeing some of the guys that were with us last year, the year before, the improvements they’ve made, if we feel like they’re ready for the major leagues or not, pitching in our division. As we get closer, I assume we’re going to need more pitching. I would assume we were going to use both those spots, both those for pitchers.”

Hyde’s happy with the move.

“It’s going to be necessary with pitchers not built up the way they are. I was very pleased to hear that they did that.” 

What’s the record? 3-3-1. The Orioles will play the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte at 1:05 p.m. on Friday.

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