Teheran gives Orioles a strong start, Mayo's 2-run double gives them a strong finish in 6-4 win over Pirates; Tate impresses in comeback - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Spring Training

Teheran gives Orioles a strong start, Mayo’s 2-run double gives them a strong finish in 6-4 win over Pirates; Tate impresses in comeback

Photo Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel USA TODAY Sports

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SARASOTA, Florida-What’s happening?—Grayson Rodriguez will get his third start of the spring when the Orioles host the Detroit Tigers at Ed Smith Stadium on Friday night at 6:05. The Tigers haven’t named their starter.

The game will be broadcast on WBAL/98 Rock with Geoff Arnold and Brett Hollander.

Rodriguez has allowed two runs on four hits in four innings, walking three and striking out four.

The Orioles have their first of two days off this month on Thursday.

The rosters for the Spring Breakout game between the prospects of the Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates will be announced on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. on MLB Network. The game will be played on March 14th at 7 p.m. at LECOM Field in Bradenton. It will follow the regularly scheduled game between the Orioles and Pirates, which begins at 3:05 p.m.

Reese Sharp, a right-handed pitcher who was the Orioles’ 20th-round draft pick in 2022, had Tommy John surgery, which was performed by Dr. Keith Meister in Arlington, Texas. The team said it was successful. Sharp was 7-3 with a 3.83 earned-run average and four saves last season for Single-A Delmarva and High-A Aberdeen.

What’s happened?—Julio Teheran pitched two hitless innings in his first start for the Orioles in their 6-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates before 5,163 at Ed Smith Stadium on Wednesday night.

Teheran, who walked one, had a strikeout in his first inning with the Orioles, a relief appearance on Saturday. The 33-year-old right-hander started his major league career with Atlanta in 2011.

“I feel good with the way I’m throwing strikes,” Teheran said.

Manager Brandon Hyde saw Teheran in his prime with Atlanta, and said he is seeing a different pitcher.

“A guy that can pitch, move the ball around the strike zone, change speeds. It’s going to have to be,” Hyde said. “Back in the Atlanta days, he was a hard-throwing right-hander. Now, he’s a guy that’s got to be able to command everything in the corners and change speeds. He’s done that the last couple of times out.”

Teheran, who signed a minor league contract with the Orioles on February 28th, has yet to work closely with the Orioles’ pitching coaches.

“I haven’t had a chance to work on it,” Teheran said. “With these first two games, we have an idea [what] we can work on it or make better. For my next outing, we’ll see how everything is going to be. My breaking balls, I feel like, I still feel like I have a little room to feel better.”

Teheran got a late start but doesn’t feel far off from where he would be in a normal spring because he’d been pitching to free-agent hitters in Miami.

“I feel pretty good. To be honest, I feel like I’ve been here with the guys since Day 1,” Teheran said. “I don’t feel that far away … Hopefully, by the next outing, I would feel like I’m getting close to normal season form.”

Left-hander Bruce Zimmermann struck out four in two scoreless innings but allowed four runs, two unearned, in the fifth. Four consecutive Pirate batters reached base with one out before Hyde removed him.

Dillon Tate, Mike Baumann, Nick Vespi and Jonathan Heasley pitched spotless innings.

Outfielder Anthony Santander hit a two-run home run, his first two RBIs, and hit into two double plays. He was happy with his home run and pleased with his approach.

“Happy about my timing and my mechanics stuff the last couple of days,” Santander said. “Really good, putting the ball on the barrel twice in a row. That means the work I’m doing the last couple of days is good work.”

Santander likes how the 11-2 Orioles are playing.

“Really good. They’re healthy, they’re playing hard. Good barrels,” he said. “Numbers here are less important. We just need to stay healthy and play hard.”

In his second game this spring, shortstop Gunnar Henderson was 3-for-3.

Rookie third baseman Coby Mayo’s two-run double put the Orioles ahead, 6-4, in the eighth.

“I felt a little off. I had a four-game, three-game stretch where I just wasn’t feeling as great as I was,” Mayo said. “I tried to get back into the cage, not overthink about it. Try to do what I did last year, getting back to those same routines, the same loading, the swing path where I was at last year.

“I feel I see the ball really well at night. I was happy to get back under the lights and get a hit when I can.”

Mayo realizes he’ll have to play well defensively to make the Orioles.

“That’s the biggest thing, trying to prove to them that I can play defense, that my glove can get to where my bat is,” he said. “It’s not the type of plays, it’s just being a better third baseman in general, being more of an athlete, moving around a little bit better, a little bit quicker. There’s a lot of talk last year about my arm slot, and what I could improve on. I’m really happy with where I’m at now, but there’s obviously still a lot of work to do.”

Hyde acknowledged Mayo’s growth.

“The bat’s going to play, and he’s going to be a good hitter,” Hyde said. “I’m more impressed with his defense, the strides he’s made defensively at third base. Massive strides since last year. That’s exciting for me. You’ve got to be able to play good defense, and Coby’s really worked hard at it, and made huge strides at it.”

What’s up with?—Enrique Bradfield Jr. was the Orioles’ first-round draft choice last July, and he’s expected to play in the Spring Breakout game next week. Bradfield has regularly been brought over as an extra player, and replaced Mullins in the first inning of Monday’s game after he left because of right hamstring discomfort.

“I think it’s very valuable. There’s always something to take away and learn from,” Bradfield said. “I’m getting great experience around a group of great guys. They’ve been out there years, so they definitely know what they’re doing. To be able to prepare with them, pick their brains every chance I get and get in there and see what’s it’s like to play in there for myself. It’s a great experience. Every day I get a chance to come over here, I’m grateful. I want to take advantage of just learning because it’s going to come in handy one day.”

Bradfield hit .291 with six home runs and 25 RBIs in 25 games with the Florida Complex League Orioles, Single-A Delmarva and High-A Aberdeen. He stole 25 bases in 27 attempts.

He’s gotten to meet longtime Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones, who’s in camp as a guest instructor this week.

“It’s very real that I get a chance to stand next to him in that setting and ask him questions,” Bradfield said.

What’s what?— In a youthful clubhouse, Teheran is a rare veteran and he provides insight on his thinking and pitching philosophy. He doesn’t discount the importance of spring training statistics, especially in his position.

“I feel like it’s important on every pitch, every at-bat,” Teheran said. “It’s going to count. That’s what I’m taking out there. I’m taking one pitch at a time and show them I’m here to make the team.”

What’s the word? “We’ve had a great group of alumni this year. We’re honored to have these guys.”-Hyde on the Orioles’ guest instructors.

 What’s the number?  O. Dillon Tate hasn’t allowed a baserunner in three games, retiring all nine batters he has faced, striking out three after missing all of last year with forearm and elbow injuries.

“Heavy sinker’s back, he’s throwing sliders for strikes,” Hyde said. “Good to see him throw some changeups [in his last appearance], you can definitely see from the dugout the sinker’s sinking. He’s going to get a ton of ground balls. Feeling healthy after every outing. Nice to see him back out there and throwing really good stuff.”

What’s the record? 11-2. The Orioles are off on Thursday and host the Detroit Tigers on Friday night at 6:05.

Call for questions: I’ll be answering Orioles questions in a few days. Please email yours to: [email protected]

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