SARASOTA—What’s happening? Kyle Gibson will make his fifth start of spring training when the Orioles play a New York Yankees split-squad on Friday night at Ed Smith Stadium at 6:05.
Gibson has allowed two runs on 11 hits in 14 innings, striking out 13 without walking a batter.
He’ll be opposed by Yoendres Gómez.
The game will be broadcast by WBAL/98 Rock with Geoff Arnold and Melanie Newman.
Tyler Wells will face Vince Velasquez when the Orioles play the Pittsburgh Pirates at LECOM Park in Bradenton on Saturday night at 6:05.
Mychal Givens, who’s out because of knee soreness, threw on flat ground, manager Brandon Hyde said.
Ramón Urías was scratched when he took a ground ball off his right thumb.
“It should be fine. It was on the nail and pretty bruised up,” Hyde said.
Hyde said the Orioles are just beginning to discuss the final composition of the 26-man Opening Day roster.
“I would assume that we’re going to do most, if not all, before we leave, but I don’t want to say never, either,” Hyde said. “Still have a lot of cuts to make and we still have a lot of guys to pick from. We’re just starting those conversations now with the nice little body of work these guys have put in.”
What happened? Grayson Rodriguez allowed five runs in the third inning as the Orioles played to an 8-8 tie with a Detroit Tigers split-squad before an announced crowd of 5,160 at Ed Smith Stadium on Thursday night.
Rodriguez threw two hitless innings, then allowed five runners to reach on four hits and a hit batsman. The big hit was Nick Maton’s two-run home run.
“I thought the breaking balls were better tonight. He didn’t walk anybody. Those are positives,” Hyde said. “Threw strikes for the most part. A lot of deep counts. Pitch count pretty high for four innings. I thought the stuff was better. He didn’t command it really well in that one inning.”
He recovered and worked a 1-2-3 fourth, striking out two batters. Rodriguez struck out five and threw 73 pitches. His spring ERA is 7.04.
“I think today was probably my best start,” Rodriguez said. “I definitely felt the best. This spring, we’ve got a lot of things we worked on and that’s what it’s for. I feel we accomplished that.”
In his previous two starts, Rodriguez didn’t make it out of the fourth inning.
“Being able to go out there and reach the pitch limit that inning, it’s big,” Rodriguez said.
He hasn’t found any similarities between his two difficult fourth innings and the difficult third on Thursday night.
“Not really, just the ability to make pitches,” Rodriguez said. “At this level, mistakes get capitalized on.”
Rodriguez isn’t going to declare that he’s going to be part of the rotation.
“I’m going to leave that up to them,” Rodriguez said. “I’m just focused on going out every fifth day, making my starts, really just going out and competing. As a pitcher you want to go out and compete, throw well, but also in the spring, it doesn’t matter as much as it does during the season, so really just taking the positives out of each outing and rolling with that.”
Hyde said it has been a mixed spring for Rodriguez.
“Good innings, tough innings, a handful of tough innings,” Hyde said. “This is his first true major league spring training, and we have to remember he’s a really young player. Sometimes it’s OK to go through some rough patches, knowing you have to make some adjustments.
“I really don’t know him well enough. I do think he’s going to learn to get out of those innings where things aren’t going to well, to be able to make a pitch when you need to. You either get a double play or you get a punch out to stop the bleeding. So far this spring, he’s had a bad inning almost every time out.”
Hyde said the Orioles haven’t made any decision on Rodriguez and others competing for starting spots.
“We’re still evaluating,” Hyde said. “We still have other guys who are rotation candidates. We’ll make that decision at the end.”
Cionel Pérez and Félix Bautista threw scoreless innings. Yennier Cano threw two shutout innings. Reed Garrett allowed three runs in the ninth.
Cedric Mullins, in his first game since returning from the World Baseball Classic where he played for Team USA, hit a three-run home run.
“I feel more comfortable with what’s going on the field, being able to take a step away from it, feel more refreshed and being comfortable in the box and put good swings on the ball today,” Mullins said.
Mullins was 2-for-10 in the WBC and hit a home run in the U.S.’ 14-2 win over Cuba.
“It was amazing, all around amazing experience.” Mullins said. “I’d recommend anyone who has that honor take it for sure.”
Mullins played in intense games for the Orioles last September when the team attempted to make the postseason and said the atmosphere in the WBC was more intense.
“Those games out there, I could feel it in my chest,” Mullins said. “It was one of those moments where the crowd was so involved the entire game. The energy that they brought carried throughout the entire stadium.”
Anthony Santander, who was hitless in 15 spring at-bats, had two singles and an RBI.
Ryan Mountcastle had three hits and raised his spring average to .429.
The best part of the night for Hyde was having his 13-year-old daughter Addison with him as he brought out the lineup card and she brought baseballs to the home plate umpire.
“My son’s always with me. To have her never be in the dugout before and to have her experience being a ball girl after a long day at school, she got a little fatigued at the end,” Hyde said. “I loved her in there, and I hope to do it again.”
What’s up with? Colton Cowser and Heston Kjerstad were assigned to minor league camp after Wednesday’s game.
“I just told them how impressive they were,” Hyde said. “How they both have huge ability. I thought they handled themselves so well in their first major league camps. They had a ton of production. Really good at-bats by both guys. I’m happy with how they played defense. I thought they improved defensively. I thought they had great experiences. We have high hopes for those guys. Those are two really quality people, and I thought they handled themselves incredibly well this camp.”
What’s the word? “Definitely the ability to work on different pitches in the games, in the back fields. I think definitely there’s some runs out there that we gave away from a pitching standpoint, leaving balls over the plate, so that’s the only think I disliked.” –Rodriguez on what he liked and disliked about his spring.
What’s what? The Orioles will appear on FOX Sports on Saturday May 6th when they face the Atlanta Braces at 7 p.m. They have three games on FoxSports1 — April 22nd (Detroit), August 12th (at Seattle) and September 4th (at Los Angeles).
The Orioles also will appear on AppleTV+ on May 19 (at Toronto) and June 9th (Kansas City). There will be three games on Peacock: May 7th (at Atlanta, 11:35 a.m.), June 18th at Chicago (1:05 p.m.) and July 2nd (Minnesota (12:05 p.m.)
What’s the number? 40. The high temperature forecast for next Thursday’s opener at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox.
What’s the record? 13-11-3. The Orioles will play the New York Yankees on Friday night at 6:05 at Ed Smith Stadium.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB