Orioles defeat Red Sox, 4-3, on Cowser's 2-run homer in 9th; Burnes debuts with scoreless inning, Rutschman homers - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Spring Training

Orioles defeat Red Sox, 4-3, on Cowser’s 2-run homer in 9th; Burnes debuts with scoreless inning, Rutschman homers

Photo Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

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SARASOTA, Florida-What’s happening?-Cole Irvin will start against Mitch Keller when the Orioles visit the Pittsburgh Pirates at LECOM Park in Bradenton on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.

Geoff Arnold and Ben McDonald will call the game on WBAL/98 Rock. The game will be televised by MLB.TV.

First baseman Ryan Mountcastle and catcher James McCann are among those who are expected to play in the Orioles’ second game of the Grapefruit League season.

What’s happened?— Corbin Burnes pitched a scoreless inning, allowing one hit and striking out two, as the Orioles defeated the Boston Red Sox, 4-3, before a sellout crowd of 7,950 at Ed Smith Stadium in the Grapefruit League opener on Saturday.

Adley Rutschman hit a home run in the first inning, and Colton Cowser hit a two-run, game-winning home run in the ninth.

“Today was just getting the feet wet, getting out there on the mound, getting the adrenaline going in a game situation and get to work with Adley a little bit,” Burnes said. “A little bit structured today as far as what we’re doing pitch-wise, had a little freedom there to mix and match stuff. Wanted to make sure I threw a bunch of sliders, which I did there to [Bobby] Dalbec. All in all, a good outing, get out there and touch the mound.”

Hyde was pleased with what he saw from Burnes.

“He had really good stuff. I think he was really happy with his secondary stuff,” Hyde said. “It was just an inning, but he’s right on track.”

It was the first time Oriole fans got a look at the 29-year-old Burnes, who had a 45-27 record and a 3.26 earned-run average in six seasons with Milwaukee.

“That’s what you want in a spring training scenario,” Burnes said. “Organization’s excited, fan base is excited. It was good to see everyone come out. It doesn’t matter if it’s today, Opening Day, playoffs, I go out and approach the day as I would if it was any other start. Today was only for [22] pitches, the way I go about things and do my thing, it really doesn’t matter if it’s Game 1, Game 12 or Game 162.”

It’s the first time Burnes has trained in Florida since the Brewers trained in Arizona.

“It’s still baseball,” Burnes said. “Florida’s a little more spread out than Arizona is. As far as going out here and playing spring games, it’s still baseball.”

Rutschman thought Burnes pitched well.

“It was cool to play around with some stuff in-game today,” Rutschman said. “We can work on all we want to work on in bullpens, but games are always going to be a little different setting and definitively productive. It’s been awesome to work with him so far and see him do his thing in the weight room, in bullpens, just hanging around with the guys.”

Burnes’ experience can help some of the Orioles’ younger pitchers.

“He’s very knowledgeable about what he’s doing, and been very successful,” Rutschman said. “Guys learn from each other all the time.”

Rutschman’s homer against Boston’s Garrett Whitlock gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead.

“It’s the best feeling. It’s always tough to get the first one out of the way,” he said.

Top prospect Jackson Holliday started at second base and was hitless in two at-bats.

“We’re going to watch him early,” Hyde said. “He’s still getting to know second base. I just want to get him to be comfortable as we go through camp, maybe some more details about the position and throw off questions. We just want to watch him play right now.”

Non-roster left-hander Garrett Stallings pitched three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and a walk.

“The strike-throwing ability. That’s something he’s done in the minor leagues,” Hyde said. “He’s thrown a ton of strikes. We’re looking for rotation depth, and for him to go out there and give us three really good innings. That’s what we’re looking for.”

Native Marylander minor leaguer Errol Robinson singled in the bottom of the ninth and Cowser homered to end the game.

“A bloop and a blast to end it. I thought Colton took a good swing on the ball even though it got up in the wind and got a little help,” Hyde said.

Last year, Cowser was 7-for-61 (.115). He got 2024 off to a good start.

“I think it’s important for everyone,” Cowser said. “I’m not necessarily trying to press to do, mainly just trying to trust my process at the plate, understand what I’m trying to do and really just try to hone a consistent approach to take into the year.”

What’s up with?—Nick Vespi is 6-0 with a 4.17 ERA with a save in 34 games with the Orioles in 2022 and 2023.

He pitched a scoreless seventh, striking out one.

“I think I’m in the same spot I’ve been the last few years, competing for a spot. We’ve got a lot of talent in camp. I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I’m ready for it.”

Vespi has yet to make an Opening Day roster.

“I think about that every day of my life,” Vespi said. “That’s definitely a huge goal of mine, and I’ll do whatever it takes to run down that orange carpet.”

What’s what? The new scoreboard at Ed Smith Stadium failed to work. The scoreboard is twice the size and much easier to read than the old one, and it should be working by Monday.

What’s the word? “The lineup, and the order and all that stuff, pitching order what the lineup looks like, that has nothing to do with how the season’s going to go … What the batting order looks like a month-plus from now, I have no idea.”­-Hyde on Grapefruit League lineups.

What’s the number? 22. That’s the number of pitches Burnes threw in his first outing.

What’s the record? 1-0. The Orioles will play the Pittsburgh Pirates at LECOM Park in Bradenton at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday.

RAVENS NEWS from BaltimoreSports.com

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