The good news is that it’s only spring, and it’s all practice. The bad news is that the Orioles were no-hit for eight innings today against the Blue Jays.
The Orioles’ starters struggled to break through against the Jays’ pitching, striking out five times in the first 12 at-bats.
The red hot Heston Kjerstad broke up the shut out with a run scoring single, after a Lewin Díaz single ended the no-hit bid in the ninth.
As bad as things were on offense, the Orioles’ pitching staff only allowed two runs, and the defense turned three double plays.
Cole Irvin, acquired in a trade over the winter, opened his Orioles career with two innings of work, allowing a leadoff single and a second-inning walk but yielding no runs. He would throw 27 pitches, 17 for strikes, and the left-hander isn’t taking anything for granted in his role with the team.
“There’s a lot of talent here,” Irvin said. “My job is never going to be secure. I think the only secure job is Gibby [Kyle Gibson], and he’s the vet, and he deserves it. For me, I’m still kind of earning my way in the major leagues.”
Austin Voth, another arm in competition for a starting rotation spot, would follow with two innings of his own, giving up two infield hits, a walk and a run. The run was scored on a Rob Brantley doubled after the ball deflected off Anthony Santander’s glove.
“I feel like I’m along with any one of them,” Voth proclaimed after his outing. “We all are very talented, and there’s a lot of us, and so whoever’s going to be in the rotation, they’re going to help us out a lot.”
The pitching was effective, partially because of the defense. Though they allowed 14 base runners (nine hits, five walks and an error), they only allowed two runs to score, as the Birds were defeated by a score of 2-1.
The Orioles fall to 2-3 on the Grapefruit League season, but there has been a lot of promise from various different players. As it all comes together, it will lead to more exciting times and games to come.
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde says Voth’s relief experience could affect rotation choices. Voth was a converter reliever for the Orioles last season and was strong as a starter.
For players heading to the Word Baseball Classic next week, Hyde said Dean Kremer will pitch multiple innings behind Kyle Gibson on Friday. As for Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander, they will both play Friday and Sunday, as Santander will also play Monday before heading out.
Hyde continues to be impressed by O’s third-ranked prospect Jackson Holliday. He says that the 19-year-old is a very impressive young man who isn’t intimidated.
Having Matt Holliday as a father, Jackson would spend a lot of time at training camps and even big league club houses. He now is getting the taste for it as a player and is seizing his opportunity.
Félix Bautista threw another bullpen session yesterday. He is scheduled to throw another Saturday and says he is still feeling good.
Grayson Rodriguez is set to make his spring debut tomorrow against the Detroit Tigers and Matthew Boyd. Game time is set for 1:05pm from Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida.
Today’s game was played in two hours and 20 minutes.
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