Cowser, O’Hearn lead Orioles to walk-off victory

Cole Irvin is the shiny new toy that could be something special for the Orioles. A young left-hander with four years of team control, Irvin is making his case to be a strong addition to the starting rotation. 

Irvin would take the mound today against the Philadelphia Phillies, his former team, and once again did not disappoint.

Irvin would toss 44 pitches (29 strikes) in three innings of work. Though he gave up three hits and one earned run, Irvin looked in control of things and never really lost his composure. 

“I definitely have to work on some more things with that extra inning, and a lot of it was good,” said Irvin. “The third inning, maybe a little humid, kind of tired me out a little bit. But that’s just an adjustment of the body and all that. So, felt good, felt strong. I think we’re in a good spot right now.”

If there is one thing that was noticed, it was that some of Irvin’s pitches are being left up in the zone, mostly on his secondary ones. Today looked more like Irvin was working on locating pitches while also ramping up his pitch count, which is exactly what spring training is for.

As it stands, Irvin has now completed five innings with three strikeouts, four hits and one earned run.

Mychal Givens made his spring debut and pitched a clean inning with two strikeouts. The wheels fell off from there, as Austin Voth and Bryan Baker combined to give up six earned runs in 3.2 innings of work.

Voth entered the game and gave up three home runs and four earned runs in his first inning of work. He followed with two clean innings, but command was a big issue today.

Eduard Bazardo, who’s having a sneaky under-the-rader spring thus far, threw a scoreless inning of relief in the ninth. He would pick up the win in this one as well.

Anthony Santander made his debut at first base today and did not disappoint in the field, making a couple of good scoops and fielding a pop-up.

“It felt pretty good,” Santander said. “I’ve been taking a lot of ground balls the last couple days. Obviously, I was excited because it’s really different in the game, but pretty much felt good.”

Santander would finish 0-for-2 before ending his game. He will head out to join Team Venezuela for the World Baseball Classic today.

Adley Rutschman is settling in, as he collected two more hits today, raising his average to .333 and his OPS to 1.083.

Adam Friazer collected his first hit as an Oriole, but we will note that he has been making contact and has not struck out yet this spring.

Austin Hays had a big three-run homer, raising his spring average to .250 and his OPS to 1.025. Hays needs to have a strong spring, as youngsters Kyle Stowers, Colton Cowser and Heston Kjerstad have been shining thus far.

Speaking of Cowser, he hit a two-run opposite field home run today. He powered it out with ease and raised his OPS to 1.056 this spring.

“That was nice to see, for sure,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Obviously, the ball was really carrying to left, left-center today, but he squared up really well and stayed on it. Good to see him drive the baseball.”

Ryan O’Hearn was the hero today for the O’s, as he would hit a walk-off three-run homer to end the game after Jackson Holliday singled and Ramón Rodriguez walked.

“He’s taking good at-bats every time he’s out there,” Hyde said about O’Hearn. “Hitting the ball hard to all fields, playing really good defense. He’s off to a really good start in this camp.”

Overall, the Orioles offense pounded out 14 hits and scored 10 runs. They struck out only three times and walked four times, as they defeated the Phillies, 10-7.

Side Notes:

Cole Irvin went and threw in the bullpen after his outing today. He is working on building up his pitch count to prepare for his next outing.

Brandon Hyde says Terrin Vavra will hit tomorrow and that his shoulder is doing much better.

Orioles GM Mike Elias talking on MASN today about Grayson Rodriguez was quoted as saying, “This is kind of his time.”

Rodriguez is due to pitch tomorrow. As with Bradish and Irvin, he will probably get three innings of work or about 50 pitches, whichever comes first.

Rodriguez has yet to pitch over 103 innings in a season. There are apparently no restrictions on innings this year, but this is also something to watch heading into the regular season.

The Orioles will travel to Fort Myers, Florida, tomorrow to take on the Minnesota Twins. Rodriguez takes the mound for the Birds, as Kenta Maeda goes for the Twins, with game time set for 1:05pm.

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Who stood out to you for the O’s today? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!

Like Stephen’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @SRJHeckman

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