Irvin continues to produce, O’s beat Boston

Cole Irvin is a talented lefty who has been on the cusp for years. Drafted by the Phillies, then traded to the Athletics, Irvin has been a pitcher flying under the radar.

The Orioles acquired the lefty this offseason, and so far, he has done more than enough to show he might be taking another big step forward this year.

Irvin took the mound today for the Birds against the Red Sox and once again showed consistent strike-throwing, fast tempo and durability. Firing five innings, 68 pitches, he would strike out three, walk one and allow two earned runs on seven hits.

Irvin ended the game lowering his ERA to 3.14 this spring. He has pitched 14.1 innings, allowing 17 hits, four runs, one walk and nine strikeouts.

“Swirvin’ Irvin” seems ready to go, and Orioles fans seem eager to see what he brings to the starting rotation this season.

Cionel Pérez was lights out once again out of the pen, striking out two batters and inducing a pop-up during an inning of work.

Pérez has pitched six innings, striking out eight, and has accumulated a 1.50 ERA this spring, as he looks to lock down the set-up role with Dillon Tate expected to miss the start of the season.

Joey Krehbiel had his fifth straight scoreless appearance in an inning of work after giving up eight earned runs in his first 1.2 innings pitched this spring. Kriehbal has now gone 4.2 innings without allowing a run.

Reed Garrett pitched the final inning, giving up a hit and striking out two. Irvin would pick up his second win on the spring.

On offense, Ryan Mountcastle and Adley Rutschman led the way for the Orioles today.

Mountcastle, who has just one single this spring, picked up his seventh double and his second home run, a solo shot in the first. Mounty is now hitting .389 with an OPS of 1.195 and has collected nine RBIs in 36 at-bats.

Rutschman continues to show that he’s going to be the best catcher in baseball, as he went 1-for-2 on the day, hitting a solo home run in the first and picking up another walk.

Rutschman now has four home runs and nine RBIs in 35 at-bats this spring. He surprisingly has no doubles but has collected five walks and is now hitting .314 with a 1.072 OPS.

Anthony Santander returned from the World Baseball Classic and finished his day 0-for-3. So far, he has yet to collect a hit this spring for the Orioles.

“Feel really proud to be able to wear that jersey, representing the whole country, family, my hometown,” Santander said of his experience in the WBC. “That’s something that, as a player, you never forget that big moment. The most important thing is we bring some happiness to our people back there. Even though we didn’t get to the final, I feel so proud of the team, the chemistry that we got. That was awesome. To be able to share the clubhouse with big names like Miggy, Altuva, Salvador and learn from them. That was also a great experience.”

Jorge Mateo went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI, while Kyle Stowers had a two-run single today. The offense would collect 11 total hits, six of them extra bases, scoring six runs to beat Boston.

The Orioles would win the game 6-2 and improve to 13-11 in Grapefruit League play.

Side Notes:

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said Santander will get a few more innings at first base over the final week of spring training.

Felix Bautista walked three batters during his outing yesterday. He attributes the unusual control issues with something he is currently working on.

“Usually, when I throw my fastball and splitter, they tend to come out in a slightly different way,” Bautista said. “Yesterday, I was trying to work a little with some of my mechanics to try to get those to look ever more similar coming out of my hand when I do throw them. So, making some minor adjustments to the way I throw my fastball and splitter.”

Each pitcher alluded to working on mechanics their last outing. Kyle Gibson tweaked his delivery, Tyler Wells kept his glove closer to his body for better timing and Kyle Bradish said he was working with a new set position with his hands.

The Orioles optioned Bruce Zimmermann and Nick Vespi to minor league camp yesterday. Lewin Díaz, Darwinzon Hernandez and Mark Kolozsvary were reassigned to minor league camp as well.

“He got off to a late start, and we feel like he needs more appearances,” Hyde said of Vespi. “He’ll start the year in Triple-A and hopefully build off the great year he had in Norfolk last year and did well for us when he came up. These are all tough decisions we have to make. We just feel like Nick needs more appearances.”

The Orioles will face the Toronto Blue Jays tomorrow. Dean Kremer will take the mound for the Birds while José Berríos will start for Toronto. Game time is set for 1:07 p.m. EST.

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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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