O’s split squads led by pitching, victorious in both games

The Orioles took Sunday to play split squad games, one against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Sarasota and one against the New York Yankees in Tampa.

Game one against the Pirates was led by veteran Kyle Gibson, as he is showing what he is going to bring to the table for the Orioles’ rotation this season. Completing five shutout innings, the 35-year-old showed that he could be more dangerous than many expected.  

Gibson would allow just three hits while striking out seven in allowing the Birds offense to take control from the early going. Followed by Bryan Baker, Joey Kriehbal, Mike Baumann and Nick Vespi, the O’s pitching would combine to shut down the Pirates offense.  

On offense, Adley Rutschman and Heston Kjerstad would lead the way, each belting a two-run home run. 

Rutschman finished his day 2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs. He is now hitting .303, carrying a .971 OPS for the spring.

Kjerstad finished 1-for-3 with a run and two RBIs. He is hitting .389 with a 1.254 OPS this spring, as he keeps turning heads.

Nomar Mazara and Ryan Mountcastle both collected doubles in the game, as Mazara had two RBIs to add to his day. 

Overall, the offense pounded out 12 hits with four walks and seven strikeouts in the 8-0 victory against Pittsburgh.

In the second game against the Yankees, Tyler Wells would get the start, going 3.2 innings. He would throw 71 pitches, 48 for strikes, in his outing.

Wells allowed five hits but gave up only one run. He struck out three and dropped his ERA to 8.44 on the spring. 

Yennier Cano pitched a third of an inning with Spenser Watkins and Reed Garrett finishing the game. Watkins pitched four innings, allowing two runs, only one earned, and threw 73 pitches, 38 for strikes, while allowing four hits, three walks and striking out three. 

Reed Garrett closed out the victory for the Orioles. He would pitch a clean inning, striking out one while picking up the save.

The offense was powered by Anthony Bemboom’s three-run homer in the fifth.  Kyle Stowers collected an RBI double in the game as well. Franchy Cordero was 2-for-4 with a run scored, and Daz Cameron was 2-for-4 with a triple to help propel the offense.

The offense pounded out nine hits and collected two walks but struck out 14 times. They stole two bases on the day en route to a 5-3 victory against New York. 

With the wins today, the Orioles now move to 12-10 on the spring.  

Side Notes:

John Means threw a bullpen session yesterday, totaling 30 pitches. He threw 10 changeups for the first time during rehab, with the other 20 being fastballs. 

“I felt great,” Means said. “I was excited about it all day.”

Means said he has completed five or six bullpens, throwing every other day for the last few weeks. He will start throwing breaking pitches in April.

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde says Lewin Diaz is still unable to play due to shoulder soreness. 

“A little bit better today,” Hyde said. “Still probably going to be a few days, though.”

Kyle Bradish starts tomorrow against the Phillies, with Cole Irvin starting Tuesday and Dean Kremer on Wednesday.

Félix Bautista will pitch tomorrow and Thursday, and D.L. Hall will make his spring debut either Monday or Tuesday.

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Who stood out to you today for the O’s? 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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