David Hess looked decent for the Baltimore Orioles in his first spring start this afternoon. Hess’ line: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K. It’s tough to judge anything based on two innings. Hess on his outing (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):
Felt like, all things considered, it was a pretty good start. Getting out there for the first time and getting the rust off, in a sense. I left a two-seam over the middle. Obviously, the home run wasn’t ideal. Felt like I got a lot of soft contact today and made some good pitches and they couldn’t put the bat on a couple of them. All in all, it was a pretty good start to spring training.
Hess did load the bases in the first inning, and was able to pitch out of it. I always say that the nature of the position (pitcher) is that you’ll get yourself in trouble. If you can get yourself out of trouble, you’re in good shape.
Luckily for Hess and the Orioles, the bats came around almost immediately just as they did yesterday. Rio Ruiz smacked a three-run homer in the last of the first to give the O’s a 3-0 lead. However unlike yesterday’s game against Minnesota, Toronto wasn’t looking to roll over.
They got on the board in the second on a wind-aided solo homer by Pompey (the only run Hess surrendered). In the third they cut the lead to 3-2 on Gurriel’s RBi-double, tied it on Guerrero’s RBI-single, and then took the lead on Smith’s two-RBI single. All of those runs were charged to Tanner Scott, who struggled in his short time in the game.
But the O’s weren’t about to be outdone. They cut it to 5-4 in the last of the fourth on Austin Hays‘ RBI-single. Later in the inning Carlos Perez‘s two-RBI double gave the Birds the lead back at 6-5. (Perez was thrown out at third trying to extend it into a triple.) And the Birds never really looked back – although Toronto rallied again.
The O’s would also get an RBI-single by Cael Brockmeyer, an RBI-groundout by Christopher Bostick, and an RBI-single by Stevie Wilkerson in the last of the seventh. Toronto would get rally however in the top of the eighth on a solo homer by Cantwell, an RBI-HPB awarded to Knight, and an RBI-single by Fields. This left the score at 9-8. Maryland native Branden Kline sent Toronto down 1-2-3 in the ninth to preserve the win and record the save.
Not every game is going to be clean and easy in a sense. Especially in the Florida Grapefruit League. So while so many different players come through these games, all of whom are trying to do different things and so forth, it was good to see the Birds collectively win a game like this. Especially with Toronto making a late charge, only to have the ‘pen shut them down 1-2-3.
During the third inning of the game the Orioles announced that they had traded for RHP David Lebron from the Texas Rangers – in exchange for international signing bonus slots. The 25-year old Homestead, FL native has pitched one minor league season, split between two levels. While he has no won/loss record, he does have an ERA of 1.31. He’s appeared in ten games and has never surrendered a home run.
The Orioles will hit the road for the first time this spring tomorrow as they head to CenturyLink Sports Park to take on Minnesota. Nate Karns gets the start for the O’s, although at this point Minnesota has not announced a starter. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.
Update: Jose Berrios will start for Minnesota tomorrow against the O’s.