Wells turns in another strong start in Orioles' 8-2 win over Braves; Stowers hits 3 homers against Tigers, giving him 7 this spring - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Spring Training

Wells turns in another strong start in Orioles’ 8-2 win over Braves; Stowers hits 3 homers against Tigers, giving him 7 this spring

Photo Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

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SARASOTA, Florida-What’s happening?—Monday is the second of two scheduled offdays for the Orioles this spring. Cole Irvin will make his fourth start of the spring when the Orioles play the Toronto Blue Jays at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida on Tuesday at 1:07 p.m.

The game will be shown on MASN.

Irvin pitched five scoreless innings in his first two Grapefruit League outings and allowed six runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings against Atlanta on March 13th.

First baseman Ryan Mountcastle hasn’t played since last Tuesday because of neck stiffness but expects to be back early in the week. Orioles manager Brandon Hyde expects him to play on Tuesday.

“I just took a swing and it locked up,” Mountcastle said about his injury. “It worked out, and I should be back the next game.”

Mountcastle is batting .259 (7-for-27) with seven RBIs this spring.

“I’m getting a bunch of [at-bats], feel pretty solid, feel good defensively, feel good offensively. Hopefully, I’ll get this neck thing figured out in the next day or two and be back to normal.”

Leftfielder Austin Hays hasn’t played since Thursday because of illness.

Jorge Mateo, who is playing center field in addition to shortstop this spring, played right field for the first time. He played three innings in right and moved to left.

“Just preparing if it happens during the season,” Hyde said. “Wanted to move guys around in camp. He’s played out there before. I want to not surprise guys during the season if things do happen. Jorgie’s so athletic and covers in so many ways. That’s a real benefit to us to have someone who can play that many positions.”

Hyde said he thinks the Orioles are going to start the season with 13 pitchers and 13 position players.

What’s happened? Tyler Wells gave up one run on four hits in 4 2/3 innings as an Orioles split squad defeated an Atlanta Braves split squad 8-2 before 6,477 at Ed Smith Stadium on Sunday.

Austin Riley, Atlanta’s Silver Slugger third baseman, homered with one out in the first.

“Even though it’s early in the game, if you’re throwing strikes, you’re going to get hurt,” Wells said. “You’re going to get some homers hit off of you. At the same time, I’d rather challenge people and lose that way than sit there and be around the zone. That’s very important to me to go deeper in games.

Wells, whose spring earned-run average is 1.69, struck out six.

“I love the way Wells is throwing all spring,” Hyde said. “He’s commanded the ball extremely well all spring. The fastball’s got good life to it.”

“I’ve always known it’s in there. It’s like we’re starting to relearn how to use our stuff again,” Wells said. “That’s what spring training is all about. It’s get back to practice and learn your arsenal again and what’s effective and what isn’t.”

Right-hander Spencer Strider, who was 20-5 for the Braves last season, pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing just two hits, striking out seven and walking three.

“It’s good to see the type of arms you’re going to see during the season,” Hyde said. “To face a guy with that sort of stuff, it’s a nice test of where you are in camp. It’s fun to watch him.

“It’s fun to see how he approaches the game, and how he chooses to pitch,” Wells said. “We’re two very different people. It’s fun to watch and learn from a guy who’s got as dominant stuff as him.”

Danny Coulombe pitched a scoreless sixth, and Yennier Cano allowed a run on three hits in the seventh. Mike Baumann and Keegan Akin worked scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth.

Minor league outfielder John Rhodes hit a two-run home run in the seventh and shortstop Gunnar Henderson drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI double in the eighth. Catcher Michael Pérez added a two-run double. Rhodes added his second two-run shot in the eighth, and Coby Mayo hit an RBI double to cap a six-run inning.

Designated hitter Kyle Stowers hit three home runs, all against right-handers, in a 4-4 tie with the Detroit Tigers before 6,112 at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland in the other half of the split squad.

“Kyle’s swung the bat awesome this camp,” Hyde said. “Really happy for him after a tough year last year dealing with a lot of things. To come into camp and swing the bat the way he has, it’s amazing.”

Stowers hit a solo shot in the first against Kenta Maeda, a two-run homer against Maeda in the fourth, and his third home run against Reese Olson in the seventh. The left-handed hitting outfielder hit the first four of his seven home runs this spring against left-handers.

Julio Teheran gave up a run on five hits in four innings, walking one and striking out five. His spring ERA is 4.82.

Cionel Pérez, Dillon Tate and Bryan Baker each pitched scoreless innings. Andrew Suárez allowed three runs in the eighth.

What’s up with?—Felix Bautista,  the American League reliever of the year, will miss the season after last October’s Tommy John surgery.

“Everything’s going good. It feels really good just to be here and continue to go through the rehab process,” Bautista said through a translator.

“I’m doing a little bit of everything. I’m cleared to work out full body now. It’s a matter of little by little doing more and more and increasing the weight little by little to start getting stronger once again.”

Bautista hopes to begin throwing in about a month and will remain in Sarasota for rehab but will occasionally return to Baltimore.

What’s what?—Maryland Governor Wes Moore took batting practice before the game.

“I have a real respect for the players out there,” Moore said. “They make it look very easy, and it’s not. I think it highlights why we’re so excited about this team. This is a special team and a special organization.”

Moore was asked if he had a political reason for attending the game.

“Watching the O’s win. That’s the agenda. We’re watching the O’s win,” he said.

What’s the word? “Being able to face a lineup like the Braves is definitely something I look forward to because it means there’s always going to be a battle, high-quality hitters. That forces me to have to be better.”-Wells on opposing Atlanta.

 What’s the number? 300. 833. Jackson Holliday’s batting average and OPS this spring.

“Wanted to see him face some major league pitching,” Hyde said. “We’re getting a little bit closer to realistic with the pitching we’re going to see. We’re just watching him to see if he’s ready to break camp with us or not.”

What’s the record? 18-5-2. After a day off on Monday, the Orioles will play the Toronto Blue Jays at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida at 1:07 p.m.

RAVENS NEWS from BaltimoreSports.com

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