Orioles hit 8 home runs as they defeat Tigers, 11-7, lose to Braves, 6-5; Gibson's solid start - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Spring Training

Orioles hit 8 home runs as they defeat Tigers, 11-7, lose to Braves, 6-5; Gibson’s solid start

Photo Credit: Syndication: Sarasota Herald-Tribune

SARASOTA—What’s happening? The Orioles haven’t named a starting pitcher for Tuesday when they play the Pittsburgh Pirates at LECOM Park in Bradenton at1:05 p.m.

Pittsburgh will start baseball’s oldest player, Rich Hill, who turned 43 on Saturday. The game will be available on MLB.TV.

Félix Bautista, who hasn’t pitched because of knee and shoulder injuries, is scheduled to pitch for the first time in the game.

Ryan O’Hearn, who’s out because of a sore knee, was scheduled to have an MRI.

The Orioles optioned left-hander Drew Rom to Triple-A Norfolk. They have 55 players on their spring training roster.

After Tuesday’s game, the Orioles have their only scheduled offday of the spring on Wednesday.

What happened? Kyle Gibson allowed one run on three hits in four innings as the Orioles defeated the Detroit Tigers split-squad 11-7 before an announced crowd of 4,321 at Ed Smith Stadium on Monday.

Gibson struck out two and threw 46 pitches. In his three starts this spring, Gibson has allowed two runs on eight hits in nine innings, striking out six without walking a batter.

“I got a little bit tired there at the end, but still felt pretty good,” Gibson said. “A lot of quick [at-bats], which is always ideal. Left a couple of pitches in the middle that they hit hard, but that’s going to happen. Hitters are going to do that. Overall felt I got ahead better. Made adjustments when I needed to in the middle of the at-bat.”

Detroit’s Akil Baddoo, the second batter of the game, homered to left. The game’s start was delayed by 25 minutes because of rain.

“It was more difficult figuring out just when to start throwing and when to stop,” Gibson said. “The little delay here, the little delay there was pesky. I normally don’t think too much about the wind. The wind is what it’s going to be. If I can get ground balls, I don’t really worry about it.

“Thankfully our guys put some good swings on it. Baddoo hit that ball well. Who knows what it’s going to be? It’s a pitch hit down the middle, so it deserves to be hit pretty far.”

Bench coach Fredi González managed the game in Sarasota while Brandon Hyde managed in North Port.

“He’s a pro,” González said about Gibson. “The guy’s been around the league a little bit and knows how to pitch. Commands all his pitches. If you’re a young pitcher in this organization. Any time he pitches or [Cole] Irvin pitches, they should watch them because he throws the ball around the plate, commands all the pitches, gets hitters out.”

Mychal Givens allowed a run in the fifth, and Nick Vespi, in his first appearance of the spring because of hernia surgery, allowed a home run to Ryan Kreidler on his first pitch. Minor league pitcher Garrett Stallings allowed four runs in the eighth.

The Orioles hit six home runs. Austin Hays led off the first with a home run against Zach Logue, and in the fourth, Adam Frazier and Franchy Cordero hit back-to-back home runs.

Cordero is 11-for-23 (.478) this spring with two home runs and seven RBIs.

“Some of the key things are I’m working with my body overall, finding good ways to attack the ball,” Cordero said through a translator. “Baltimore does a good job with the guys here making every practice feel like it’s a game situation.”

Cordero continues to battle with Lewin Díaz and Ryan O’Hearn for a spot on the roster.

“I think it’s a really good competition. I do agree we’re all having a really good camp,” Cordero said. “I also believe competition brings out the best in us. We’ve known each other over the years, playing with each other, playing against each other, so it’s been great to have them around and it’s been great competition.”

Minor league outfielder Hudson Haskin homered in the fifth, Colton Cowser hit a two-run home run in the sixth, and minor league first baseman Jacob Teter hit one in the seventh.

“Anytime you can get in a big league atmosphere, you try not to take for granted. Glad I was able to go out there and do something positive to help the team,” Haskin said.

The Orioles’ split-squad lost to the Atlanta Braves, 6-5, at CoolToday Park in North Port.

Spenser Watkins allowed four runs on six hits in four innings. Eli White hit two home runs against Watkins.

Rule 5 draft choice Andrew Politii pitched a scoreless fifth, and Bryan Baker gave up two runs in the sixth.

Heston Kjerstad hit a long home run in the sixth. Josh Lester hit a three-run home run as the Orioles scored five runs in the sixth.

The game was called because of rain with two outs in the seventh.

What’s up with? Cionel Pérez had an exceptional season for the Orioles in 2022. He went 7-1 with a 1.40 ERA and a save in 66 games. He allowed just two home runs in 57 2/3 innings.

Pérez doesn’t assume that he has a spot on the team, even if he does.

“You could say, ‘yes,’ but at the same time, you don’t want to feel relaxed or believe that anything is given to you,” he said through a translator. “You have to come with same mentality, ready to work hard. I come with the mentality that I want to have a really good season.”

The Orioles have a deep bullpen, and Pérez likes being a part of it.

“I think last year we had a lot of good options in the bullpen,” Peréz said. “We had a really good year overall as a group, and I think this year we still have a lot of those same guys who have a lot of those same qualities. As a matter of fact, even reinforced our bullpen and it got stronger. It’s going to be an exciting year for this group, and I really like what we have coming out of our bullpen.”

What’s the word? “Stuff feels crisp. The adjustments I’m making, I’m taking them to the mound. I’m able to work on stuff I want to work on plus get outs, so it’s a bonus. Sometimes when you’re out there working on stuff, you don’t necessarily get as many outs as you want to get. I’m able to use the adjustments I want to make and get outs, too.”-Gibson on his progress this spring.

What’s what? Split-squad games are a necessary evil of spring training because there are 15 teams training in both Florida and Arizona. If baseball expands to 32 teams and one of the new teams trains in Florida and the other in Arizona, there can be eight games each day.

What’s the number? 22. The Orioles hit eight home runs today. Before Monday’s games, they hit only 14.

What’s the record? 7-9-2. The Orioles will play the Pittsburgh Pirates at LECOM Park in Bradenton at 1:05 p.m.



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