Baltimore Orioles’ Austin Hays dazzles in centerfield in Birds’ rout

The Baltimore Orioles got a blowout victory this afternoon at Pittsburgh’s expense, in a game that saw top prospect Austin Hays dazzle in the outfield. Hays seemingly caught anything that was in his vicinity in the outfield. Hays is making a great impression this spring, continuing what he did at the end of last season. Starter Tommy Milone set the tone for the day, keeping Pittsburgh off the scoreboard. Milone’s line: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K.

Milone was asked after his outing what he thought of Hays’ theatrics in the outfield. He wasn’t surprised in the least:

When I was with Seattle last year we came over to Baltimore and he was playing center at that point. I think it was later in the season and he made a couple of amazing catches, so it wasn’t anything new. It’s nice to have him behind me, though.

Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports

Hays saved multiple hits during his time in the game today. It wasn’t however as if the Orioles needed it today. This game was a donnybrook from the beginning. Pat Valaika smacked a two-run homer in the last of the third, and Anthony Santander would add a sac fly RBI. And the O’s were off to the races.

Ryan Mountcastle added an RBI-double in the fourth, and the aforementioned Hays a two-RBI double. Santander would add an additional RBI-double, as would Trey Mancini. The Birds led 9-0 after four innings.

Mountcastle and Chris Davis would add homers in the fifth, at which point it appeared that the Birds called off the dogs. When the smoke was done clearing, the O’s had defeated Pittsburgh 13-0. By a long shot, it was the most lopsided game the’ve played. And probably the most lopsided one they will play this spring.

It’s also good to see Chris Davis homer again. The O’s are hoping that his offensive production can improve this year, helping to solidify the team offensively. It would certainly be a big help, needless to say.

But the story of the day was Austin Hays, and his defense. It’s not just the fact that he’s capable of making plays like that. It’s also that he’s willing to make tough plays such as diving catches. He became a bit of a fan favorite when he was called up last September, and the Orioles believe he could morph into something special.

The Orioles will travel to Bradenton tomorrow to once again take on Pittsburgh – this time at their facility. Brandon Bailey gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s Trevor Williams. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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