Povich pitches well, Mayo gets on base 3 times in Orioles' 8-3 loss to Rays; Seth Johnson sets tone in 2-1 win over Braves - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Spring Training

Povich pitches well, Mayo gets on base 3 times in Orioles’ 8-3 loss to Rays; Seth Johnson sets tone in 2-1 win over Braves

Photo Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

SARASOTA, Florida-What’s happening?- Grayson Rodriguez will get his first start of the spring when the Orioles host a Detroit Tigers split-squad at Ed Smith Stadium at 1:05 p.m. Matt Manning will start for Detroit.

What’s happened?—Left-hander Cade Povich threw two scoreless innings, allowing one hit, walking two and striking out two in the Orioles’ 8-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays before 4,622 at Ed Smith Stadium on Monday.

Catcher Adley Rutschman went out to the mound in the first inning after Povich allowed consecutive walks.

“It was really just, ‘calm down, trust stuff,’” Povich said. “They weren’t doing too much back there with what I was throwing in the zone. Basically, he told me my stuff was good enough, just relax and little bit and get it down. Work back over the plate. Part of it was trying to be a little too perfect. It puts you out of the zone of who I am and what I can do.”

Before the second inning, pitching coach Drew French told the 23-year-old Povich to “step on the gas and let it eat. It’s much better getting ahead in counts, not falling behind and keeping them guessing.”

Last year, Povich was 8-10 with a 5.04 earned-run average in 28 starts at Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. He struck out more than 12 batters per nine innings, but walked nearly five.

“Just trying to be too perfect, especially last year, getting ahead in counts, chasing strikeouts,” Povich said. “My stuff’s good enough. I’ve got to work over the plate and be myself, not try and place stuff. Let every pitch eat, let them work and work ahead in counts.”

In spring training 2023, Povich pitched late in a game against Detroit in Lakeland.

“Getting my first start, it’s a little more amped up, I guess, rather than throwing late in the game last year,” Povich said. “It was a good kind of getting the rust off, getting to experience what it’s like to throw to Rutsch … Some good things, some bad things, but a lot to build on, especially that second inning.”

Left-handed relief pitcher Cionel Pérez allowed four runs in the third inning. The Rays’ Junior Caminero, MLB Pipeline’s fourth highest rated prospect, hit a three-run home run.

Orioles infielder Tyler Nevin hit a two-run home run in the second and non-roster outfielder Daniel Johnson hit a homer in the seventh.

Coby Mayo, MLB Pipeline’s 30th-ranked prospect, played six innings at third base and got on base three times with a single, double and walk. He scored on Nevin’s home run.

In 2023, Mayo was invited to spring training. He hit .290 with 29 home runs and 99 RBIs at Bowie and Norfolk.

“Last year, getting a taste of it and experiencing it, helps me a lot this year,” Mayo said. “It gives you some confidence.

“Following my 2022 season, it was an OK season. I wasn’t thrilled with it, and felt like I needed to prove something and I came in and tried a little bit too hard and tried to do too much. After last season, I feel like I have the most confidence in the world and can hit anybody. That’s the approach I have right now.”

Mayo played with Povich with the Baysox and Tides last year.

“He’s been awesome,” Mayo said. “Whenever he has his stuff and he can fill up the zone, he’s unhittable. I’ve seen him throw multiple games with 10-plus [strikeouts]. It’s really fun to play behind him.”

Bench coach Fredi González, who managed the game while Brandon Hyde managed in North Port, likes the Orioles’ young talent.

“You read and hear about all the success Mayo had in the minor leagues last year. You see some of the at-bats he’s giving you here in the big leagues, it’s fun to keep an eye on,” González said.

In the other split-squad game, the Orioles defeated Atlanta, 2-1. Seth Johnson, who was recovering from Tommy John surgery a year ago, pitched two scoreless innings.

Third baseman Jordan Westburg and rightfielder Kyle Stowers homered. The left-handed Stowers homered against left-hander Dylan Lee.

Andrew Suárez pitched two scoreless innings, Jacob Webb, Kaleb Ort, Matt Krook and Nolan Hoffman, who was awarded the save, each threw a scoreless inning. Jean Pinto allowed the Braves’ only run as Orioles pitching held a top-shelf lineup to four hits.

What’s up with?—Justin Armbruester pitched three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out four.

“I’m just trying to go day-by-and try to learn something new every day. It’s a great opportunity to be around the big leaguers,” Armbruester said. “We’ve got guys in here who’ve been in the league for 15 years and we’ve got guys who have less than a year [in major league] time. It’s cool to see how they go about their day and they go about their routine, try to pick up little things here and there, try to learn something new every day.”

The 25-year-old right-hander thinks he’s close to the majors.

“We can definitely taste it, but the hard work is not done yet. Until we become a big leaguer in my eyes, you’re not a big leaguer until you set foot in Camden Yards or whatever field we make our debut at, but we can definitely taste and we’re pushing that much harder to get to the finish goal and then to the next goal that’s beyond that once we do make our major league debut.”

Armbruester was 6-6 with a 3.56 ERA in 26 games with Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk in 2023. He was the Orioles’ 12th round pick in 2021.

What’s what? The new scoreboard at Ed Smith Stadium, which didn’t work during Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener, worked well and is a substantial improvement over the old board.

What’s the word? “When [Craig] Kimbrel first got in the league, I was in sixth grade, seventh grade. I watched him growing up. I watched [Corbin] Burnes growing up. To see them now in person, it’s like, ‘okay, cool, I can do the same thing.’ It gives me hope that I go and can do the same thing that they do. I have access to the same facilities, but it’s really cool because they’re here to help us as much as they are to do their thing.”-Armbruester on learning from veterans 

What’s the number? 4.  Kyle Stowers has just four at-bats against left-handers in 121 career at-bats. His only hit was a home run against Boston’s Matt Strahm on September 29th, 2022.

What’s the record? 3-1. The Orioles will host the Detroit Tigers in Sarasota at 1:05 p.m.  

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