Holliday triples, singles in Orioles' 9-8 win over Pirates; Mountcastle scratched with illness; Burnes allows 3-run homer - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Spring Training

Holliday triples, singles in Orioles’ 9-8 win over Pirates; Mountcastle scratched with illness; Burnes allows 3-run homer

Photo Credit: Patrick Stevens


SARASOTA, Florida-What’s happening?—Tyler Wells makes his first start of the spring when the Orioles play the Atlanta Braves at Cool Today Park in North Port, Florida on Friday at 1:05 p.m. Bryce Elder is scheduled to start for the Braves.

An Orioles split-squad played at North Port on Monday.

First baseman Ryan Mountcastle was scratched from the Orioles’ lineup on Thursday because of illness.


“He was a little bit under the weather. He should be fine,” manager Brandon Hyde said.

Hyde said that veteran right-hander Julio Teheran, who was signed to a minor league contract on Wednesday, will pitch “an inning or so” this weekend.

Teheran said he’s a different pitcher than he was with Atlanta.

“When I went to winter ball and Mexico and Independent [baseball], I focused on throwing my sinker and to get better pitches,” Teheran said. “It really worked. The hitters, they told me, I look like a new pitcher. For me, that was like, ‘okay. It was my goal to come back and look like a different guy, especially after throwing a long time in the league. They get to know everything you do.”

What’s happened?— It was billed as the battle of the No. 1 draft choices, and it lasted only two pitches. Leadoff hitter Jackson Holliday, the top pick in the 2022 draft, took a ball from last year’s top pick, Paul Skenes, and grounded the second pitch sharply to second for a ground out.

“I was excited,” Holliday said. “It’s pretty cool to be able to compete against him. Seems like a pretty awesome dude … He’s throwing 102, so it’s pretty fast … Not where I like to be. Midseason form, I like my chances in that at-bat, but it’s still early. He looked pretty good.”

Skenes retired the Orioles in order in the first, and left the game, as planned.

Another top pick, Pirates catcher Henry Davis, hit a three-run home run against Oriole starter Corbin Burnes in Baltimore’s  9-8 win over Pittsburgh before 4.952 at Ed Smith Stadium on Thursday.

Burnes, who allowed a run in one inning last Saturday against Boston in his first Grapefruit League start, allowed the three runs on three hits in 1 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out three.

“Credit to him for a good swing. We’re really close,’ said Burnes, who was 45-27 in six seasons with the Brewers. “We’ve got four more outings until Opening Day. We’ve got plenty of time.”

Holliday was 2-for-4 with a single and a triple. He’s 3-for-11 (.273) this spring.

“I’m getting more comfortable, not to the level that I would like to be swinging it,” Holliday said. “Last two games I started to tick up a little bit, so I’m happy about that. I felt comfortable. It’s just a matter of getting at-bats and a matter of time before I start putting together good at-bats and getting a few more hits. I’m excited the way it’s trending.”

Before the game, Hyde assessed the play of the 20-year-old.

“The beginning of spring training is never easy,” Hyde said. “You’re still getting your timing, and he’s facing a lot of left-handers, too, which is pretty rough, but hopefully we can get him some right-handers to hit off of. He’ll get more comfortable as camp goes along.”

Hyde likes Holliday’s work at second base, which is a change from his shortstop positon.

“Very well. It’s never easy to transition to different positions, and he’s handled it well, and learned the nuances on it … He’s doing just fine.”

Outfielder Kyle Stowers, who had a disappointing year in 2023, hit his second home run against a left-hander this week.

“I haven’t been seeing as many righties so far for whatever reason,” Stowers said. “I’ve been having a little bit more success against the lefties so far.”

Stowers and Jorge Mateo homered in consecutive at-bats in the second against Bailey Falter. Mateo added a two-run home run in the sixth.

In his Orioles debut, closer Craig Kimbrel allowed a home run to Ke’Bryan Hayes in the third. He also allowed a single to Davis, and struck out one.

The Orioles scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth for the win. Non-roster catcher Silas Ardoin hit a two-run triple, minor league shortstop Errol Robinson had an RBI single, and outfielder Daniel Johnson had an RBI single to score Robinson with the winning run.

What’s up with? David Bañuelos signed with the Orioles in the offseason as a minor league free agent. Bañuelos, who was 0-for-1 with a walk and run scored, is one of seven catchers in camp.

Last season, Bañuelos played with Minnesota’s Double-A Wichita team and hit .270 with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs. He threw out an impressive 38 percent (23 of 60) runners attempting to steal.

He chose to sign with the Orioles despite the team having Adley Rutschman and James McCann behind the plate. They also have Michael Pérez (on a minor league contract), who’s played parts of five seasons in the majors.

“The opportunity presented itself, and I thought it’s a great place to come play. I heard great things about the organization,Bañuelos said.

What’s what?—On March 14th, the Orioles prospects and Pirates prospects will face off in a seven-inning game that will be televised by MLB Network. It will follow the Orioles-Pirates game in Bradenton.

Burnes wasn’t buying into the hype of the Skenes-Holliday matchup.

“I’m sure MLB loves it, too, to pair all these guys against each other and let them go at it, ” Burnes said. “They even made a game for it now. As far as the rest of us out there, we’re out here playing baseball.

“We’ve got guys trying to earn jobs on a big league club. As much as the media and MLB likes to blow it up, these guys are out there trying to put their work in, keep their head down and try to make the club.” 

What’s the word? “I think that a guy like Julio Teheran will help them. I will ask him to talk to some of these guys about pitching in the big leagues and growth at the major league level because he did it.”­-Orioles bench coach Fredi González on how Teheran can help mentor the Orioles’ young starters.

What’s the number? 4. The game featured four recent No. 1 draft choices, Adley Rutschman (2019), Pirates catcher Henry Davis (2021), Holliday (2022) and Skenes (2023).

“Really cool. It was really fun. I think everyone contributed a little bit,” Holliday said. “It’s pretty special and it’s pretty crazy that we’re both right here in Sarasota.”

What’s the record? 6-1. The Orioles will play the Atlanta Braves at Cool Today Park in North Port, Florida on Friday at 1:05 p.m.

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