Baltimore Orioles win a donnybrook of a spring game
I suppose that Gabriel Ynoa was the one member of the Baltimore Orioles who kind of took it on the chin this afternoon. Some of these spring training outings can be interesting affairs, especially when the opponent is the Boston Red Sox, and they bring some of their regular players on the trip – a rarity at this stage of spring training. Ynoa’s line: 2.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 2 K.
Ynoa retired the first two hitters of the game, and then the struggles began. And this is something I’ve noticed since last year for the Orioles. It’s almost as if they let up just a bit when they get two outs in an inning. The same is true when they get to two strikes in an at-bat – suddenly the opponent has always been able to find a way. And that’s continued into this spring.
In Ynoa’s case, it was a double and a walk that led to two runs in the top of the first inning. Boston picked up right where they left off in the second, plating four additional runs – including two homers. Going back to what I said above, Ynoa said after his outing that it was just a case of him leaving the ball too high in the strike zone (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
I was leaving the ball up in the zone. That was the main issue with me. The ball was just up in the zone.
One would have thought however that those first two innings would have cast a pall over the O’s. However that was not to be. Adam Jones doubled a runner home in the last of the third, and Trey Mancini plated a runner as well on a fielder’s choice. Mark Trumbo‘s fielder’s choice-RBI then cut the lead in half at 6-3.
One inning later, the pressure from the Birds continued. Tim Beckham‘s RBI-single got them to within two, and Manny Machado would tie the score with a two-RBI double later in the inning. The Birds would later take the lead on an RBI-double by Jones, leaving it at 7-6 after four innings.
And as I’ve said in the past folks, these games will happen in the spring. On one hand Ynoa wasn’t that sharp today, which from his perspective is concerning because he’s in a spot where he thinks he has a chance to be a starting pitcher on the Orioles. But you can’t put caddywampus-like comeback numbers up like that unless you’re down big early in a game. The Orioles were…and the Orioles did!
Boston would yield two more runs, however the Birds kept the pressure on. Beckham would smack a two-run homer in the fifth, and Pedro Alvarez would do the same in the sixth. The Orioles would also get Brad Brach into a game for the first time this spring, and he yielded one hit.
The Orioles got good news before the game on first baseman Chris Davis, who had an MRI on his forearm yesterday. There appears to be no structural damage to anything, and he’s expected to miss another few days. That’s good news – for now. It’s something to keep an eye on as the spring progresses, and certainly once the regular season begins.
The Orioles are off tomorrow for the first and only time this spring. So there’s no pitching match-up for me to set up! Incidentally going back to Davis’ aforementioned injury, the Birds are on the road for the first two days coming out of the off day, so the next time Orioles fans potentially would have seen him in a game would have been this coming Thursday when Toronto comes to Ed Smith Stadium.