Baltimore Orioles top Philadelphia on Ryan O’Hearn’s walk off homer

Cole Irvin got the start for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon under the sun in Sarasota. Another strong outing by a presumed Oriole starter; Irvin did his work and got the heck out of dodge. Irvin’s line: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

Philadelphia drew first blood in the third inning when Bohm smacked an RBI/l-double. This of course being the lone run Cole Irvin surrendered. However one inning later the Orioles countered with an “Earl Weaver special.” Austin Hays came up with two runners on, and smacked a three-run homer.

That gave the Birds a 3-1 lead, however it didn’t last. Bohm came back up in the top of the sixth, and smacked a solo homer. He was followed by Hall, who also smacked a solo home run, taking Philadelphia back-to-back. Later in the inning Cave smacked a two-run homer, giving Philadelphia a 5-3 lead. Martinez and Machin would add RBI-singles in the eighth to tack on two additional runs for Philadelphia, who then led 7-3.

However keep in mind that this was a spring game. This meaning that the guys playing late in the ballgame are guys trying to make the roster. An extended job interview, if you will. In short, hungry players.

Coby Mayo smacked an RBI-single in the last of the eighth, cutting the lead to 7-4. Mayo would later score on Connor Norby’s RBI-groundout. Add a two-run homer by Colton Cowser, and before you knew it the game was tied after eight innings.

Eduardo Bazardo sent Philadelphia down 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth. And the Orioles put two runners on in the last of the inning. That brought Ryan O’Hearn to the plate. Who only smacked a three-run walk off homer to win the game for the O’s.

It’s a spring game. But that‘s the sort of win that rallies a team. It’s the type of win that this Orioles’ team was noted for last year. And they’re starting early in 2023.

The Orioles head to Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers tomorrow to take on the Minnesota Twins. Grayson Rodriguez gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s Kenya Maeda. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Mike Baumann sparks the Birds to victory

Kyle Bradish got the start this afternoon for the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field against Tampa. It was a rare Grapefruit League game in a major league park, as Tampa’s facility was damaged in last year’s hurricane. They’re playing all of their home games for the remainder of the spring. Bradish’s line: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K.

The Birds got on the board early. Ryan Mountcastle smacked a two-RBI triple in the first inning, giving the O’s a 2-0 lead. Tampa would cut into that lead in the second on a solo homer by Siri. Two innings later in the fourth Arozarena would smack a solo shot of his own, tying the game at two.

Arozarena was a thorn in the Orioles’ side for much of last year. And today was just more of that. He tied the game, and he ran down numerous Oriole line drives in the outfield. It is what it is. But he’s a guy who’s tormented the O’s for some time.

The key moment in the game was in the last of the sixth. By way of a double-steal and a walk, Tampa quickly loaded the bases and threatened to break the tie. Not only that, but had they cleared the bases, it would have potentially busted the game wide open. This against reliever Mike Baumann.

The beleaguered Baumann proceeded to strike out the next three hitters, getting the Orioles out of the inning unscathed. Many people will harp on the fact that Baumann loaded the bases to begin with. However I’ve said before than the nature of the position (pitcher) is that they’re going to get into trouble at some point. That’s just how it ends up going.

The good ones will pitch their way OUT of that trouble. And that‘a what we saw out of Mike Baumann in that moment. He zero’d in and delivered the least likely scenario, that being not yielding a run.

And that seemed to spark Oriole bats. At the least the bars of the Oriole reserves in the later innings, that is. Nonar Mazara put the Orioles back in the lead in the top of the seventh with an RBI-single. One inning later they would pad that lead with a run-scoring single by Lewin Diaz, and an RBI-groundout by Cesar Prieto. The Birds would close Tampa down in the ninth, notching themselves a win at Tropicana Field.

The O’s return to Sarasota tomorrow to take on Philadelphia at Ed Smith Stadium. Cole Irving gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Philadelphia’s Michael Plassmeyer. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Dean Kremer sharp in Birds’ tie with Pittsburgh

Kyle Gibson got the start for the Baltimore Orioles tonight at Ed Smith Stadium against Pittsburgh. Gibson gave up one run, but was sharp in the outing. Gibson’s line: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

The lone run Gibson (and every other Oriole pitcher for that matter) surrendered was on an RBI-single in the first inning by Suwinski. One thing that’s worth mentioning however is that it came on the heels of a stolen base. Especially with the new rules in place, you can expect to see at the very least more steal attempts. Last thing you want is a runner getting into scoring position.

Incidentally, two of the first three Pittsburgh hitters to reach base did so on softly-hit singles. Now granted, you don’t always have to tear the cover off the ball in order to get on base. People like me feel better if you do, but I digress. Point being that hitters weren’t ssquaring Gibson up in his outing.

The Orioles countered in the last of the first inning with an RBI-double by Ryan Mountcastle. This tied the game at one. However, little did we know that would be the end of the scoring for the game. Both teams threatened, but no further runs came across, ending the game in a 1-1 tie.

Dean Kremer pitched three innings in tonight’s game, giving up one hit and striking out three. He was outstanding, and became the first Oriole pitcher to go for more than two innings in a game this spring. Just as a reminder, it’s not necessarily a matter of starting or coming into the game in relief. It’s about putting your work in and being in the game. Thus getting ready for the regular season. This of course squarely in spring training, that is.

The Orioles will stay in Sarasota tomorrow when the Atlanta Braves come into Ed Smith Stadium. Tyler Wells gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Atlanta’s Spencer Strider. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles stumble but Grayson Rodriguez shines

The Baltimore Orioles took another one on the chin this afternoon, this time in Lakeland against Detroit. However that shouldn’t make anyone forget Grayson Rodriguez’s starting today. Rodriguez’s line: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.

Rodriguez is MLB’s #2 rated pitching prospect. So this game was certainly of interest to a lot of people. It also featured Adley Rutschman behind the plate for the O’s, in perhaps a battery preview of the coming years. and Rutschman got the scoring started in the game with a solo homer in the first inning. Kyle Stowers would add an RBI-single in the fourth, and the Birds led, 2-0.

However the game changed quickly for the O’s. Tyler Nevin smacked a three-run homer for Detroit in the last of the fifth that gave them a 3-2 lead. Lipcius would follow with a solo shot, taking Detroit back-to-back.

Detroit would go on to bat around twice in the game. They put up five runs in the fifth, and another five in the seventh. The O’s would get an RBI-double fron Ryan O’Hearn in the last of the sixth, but that wasn’t nearly enough.

However Rodriguez was the story of the day. He performed like one would expect one of the top prospects in baseball to perform. Granted you do have to throw in that it was only over two innings. But he had a certain zip and finish on his pitches. In short, he looked “crisp.”

Rodriguez said after his outing that he felt good, and that he felt that he had made progress over the offseason:

We worked on some things this offseason and so far into spring training, so right now my stuff’s better than it was last year.

Courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports

It shouldn’t go unnoticed that Rutschman caught today, and homered. This is the future of Orioles baseball on display in the Florida Grapefruit League as we speak. And the rest of the league would do well to take note. Despite the final score, which as we know is irrelevant in these spring games.

The Orioles will return home to Sarasota tomorrow evening as the Pittsburgh Pirates come to Ed Smith Stadium. Kyle Gibson gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s Vince Velasquez. Game time is set for just after 6 PM.

Baltimore Orioles almost no-hit against Toronto

The Baltimore Orioles sent Cole Irving to the mound this afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium against Toronto. Irving, and just about every other pitcher who appeared in the game (for both teams), was solid. Irving’s line: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.

This was your classic pitcher’s duel, although the Birds didn’t even scratch a hit on the board until the ninth inning. Toronto led 1-0 from the first inning on on an RBI-double in the fourth by Brantley. It’s worth mentioning that this came as a result of Austin Voth (who was tagged with the loss) hitting a batsman. That’s something of which the Orioles should be wary moving forward as we look towards the regular season. Hit batsmen give the opponent free base runners, who could eventually come around to score.

In the case of this game, the runner did just that. It’s not such a big deal because it’s a spring game, but it’s still something. Especially in the American League East, where teams have so much power. That base runner at first base scored on a double.

Toronto extended their lead to 2-0 in the eighth on Clark’s solo homer. As I said, the O’s didn’t get their first hit of the ballgame until the ninth inning, when Lewin Diaz singled to right field. Similarly, Diaz would come around to score, this on Heston Kjerstad’s RBI-single. Guys on base can always equate to runs. But end of the day, Toronto headed back to Dunedin leaving the O’s with a 2-1 defeat.

Obviously getting no-hit into the ninth inning isn’t ideal, whether it’s spring training or any other time. However You can’t totally judge the season based on this one outing. Lineups aren’t what they will be, and guys are trying to get in shape. So no worries on that – they play again tomorrow.

The Orioles head to Joker Marchant Stadium tomorrow afternoon in Lakeland to take on Detroit. Grayson Rodriguez gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Matthew Boyd. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Birds bat around in the fifth, win second spring game

The Baltimore Orioles traveled to Lakeland, Fl this afternoon to take on Detroit in Florida Grapefruit League game. Dean Kremer got the start, his maiden outing of 2023. Kremer’s line: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 0 K.

Kremer gave up a solo homer in the first inning by Maton. Other than that, he was fairly solid. Kremer will be leaving camp in a few days to play for Team Israel in the WBC. He’s expected to make one more outing before departing.

But the Orioles, similar to yesterday’s game, got their runs in a spurt this afternoon. Kremer was long gone by the time they got on the board. But once they did, they didn’t look back.

Lewin Diaz got them on the board in the top of the fifth with an RBI-double. Later in the inning Terrin Vavra gave them the lead with a two-RBI double. Add on an RBI-single by Kyle Stowers and a walk by Jordan Westburg (with the bases loaded, and the O’s led 5-1.

But it didn’t end there. Franchy Cordero added a fielder’s choice-RBI. And Diaz came around again and smacked a three-run homer. That gave the Orioles a 9-1 lead. It also effectively ended the ballgame. If you care about win ls and losses at this point, that is.

Detroit would add four more runs, and Josh Lester would put the Birds ahead 10-5 with an RBI-single in the eighth. You can file this game under the “who didn’t look good” category, but for what it’s worth Terrin Vavra had another good game, going 2-for-3. However batting around will often give you an edge in a game.

The Birds would walk in a run in the last of the ninth. Detroit also had the tying run at the plate, however Brandon Hyde turned to minor leaguer Nolan Hoffman with two outs. Hoffman recorded the final out, and the O’s went back to Sarasota with a 10-6 win. For the record since he had the tying run at the plate in the ninth, Hoffman recorded a rare spring training save. For those who care about suck things.

The Orioles return home to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota tomorrow to take on the Tampa Rays. Bruce Zimmerman gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Elvin Rodriguez. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Heston Kjerstad smacks two homers in Birds’ spring debut

It was 84 degrees at first pitch this afternoon for the Baltimore Orioles’ first spring game at Ed Smith Stadium. This as opposed to some wintry weather pushing through at home. The Birds sent Drew Rom to the mound, and while he gave up an early run, he was fairly effective. Rom’s line: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K.

It’s tough to gauge a guy in his first spring start. Especially when he only pitched two innings, which was the plan for Rom all along today. Rom’s sole run surrendered came in the first inning on a sac fly-RBI. This on the heels of a triple. Minnesota took a 3-0 lead in the fourth on Contreras’ two-run shot.

The Orioles got on the board in the last of the fourth when Joey Ortiz smacked an RBI-triple. One inning later, they took a 4-3 lead on a three-run homer by Curtis Terry. Later in the inning Heston Kjerstad came up with the bases clear. And he also delivered, smacking a solo homer.

Minnesota would get one back on an RBI-groundout in the sixth. But that seemed to open up the orange and black floodgates. Terrin Vavra’s two-run homer extended the Birds’ lead to 7-4, before Rosario smacked a solo homer for Minnesota in the top of the seventh. This would bring Kjerstad back to the plate in the last of the seventh with the Birds leading 7-5…

…and Kjerstad once again delivered. This time it was a solo homer, giving the O’s an 8-5 lead. Cesar Prieto’s two-RBI single later in the inning would wrap up the scoring. It would also wrap up the Orioles’ 10-5 victory.

Heston Kjerstad was obviously the star of the show today. Terrin Vavra also had a great day, going 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI. Remember folks, these spring games are meant to get guys in the spring of playing again, and they help for them to get their timing back. So on those notes, Vavra and Kjerstad’s performances were noteworthy. Last year’s first round pick, Jackson Holiday, also had a double in the seventh inning.

Incidentally, as I write a game recap for a 10-5 Orioles’ win, I was wrong earlier this week With regard to today’s game, that is. I mentioned how pitchers and catchers were ahead of position players at the plate, meaning that we might see some pitcher’s duels early on. That was obviously not the case this afternoon. The Birds busted out the bats today!

The Orioles head to Lakeland, Florida tomorrow to take on Detroit at Joker Marchant Stadium. Dean Kremer gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Eduardo Rodriguez. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles open Grapefruit League play

Here it is folks – the moment for which Baltimore Orioles fans have waited for some time! Well, maybe not; but needless to say, it’s something. This afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota we’re going to play the biggest baseball game in the history of western civilization – well, for this year anyways! It’s the Orioles against the Minnesota Twins in the opener of the Florida Grapefruit League.

I wrote on Thursday that Drew Rom will get the start this afternoon. And again folks, that means relatively little more than the face value of the statement. Again as I’ve said, managers have a rotation of pitchers for each spring game. It’s just Rom’s turn to start things off.

I would expect the Orioles “starters” to play a few innings. Maybe two or three at-bats. I say this every year, but it’s worth nothing again that these games are played partially to help players get their timing back at the plate. Pitchers and catchers are about a week ahead of position players. So even the most seasoned veteran hitter may struggle at the plate early in the spring due to his timing being off. So if you see a few goose eggs on stat lines today, don’t fret!

Once guys get into the grind of playing however, all of that evens out. And the first week of spring games gives the Orioles a decent turn through the gulf coast. They’ll see Tampa, Toronto, and Pittsburgh and Detroit twice (including tomorrow in Lakeland).

But it all starts this afternoon against the Minnesota Twins at Ed Smith Stadium. The aforementioned Drew Rom gets the start for the homestanding Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s Louie Varland. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: CD-ROM in Grapefruit League opener

The Baltimore Orioles announced a starter today for Saturday’s Florida Grapefruit League “Opening Day.” That starter is (drumroll please)…Drew Rom. Not exactly the name you expected to see? Yeah, most people would say the same thing.

Obviously you see I’m already up to my old tricks early on this year! Yes folks, the title’s a play on words. And one that you’re going to have to have been born in the 20th century to understand at that. But nevertheless, Drew Rom to the mound it is.

Rom, a southpaw, appeared in 26 ballgames last year between double-A Bowie and triple-A Norfolk. He posted a 4.43 ERA over 120 innings. Manager Brandon Hyde was quick to say that this WAS NOT necessarily a preview of things to come in terms of the starting rotation. He quipped that it’s just sort of how things lined up.

For his part in all this, Rom appeared to be thrilled with the decision (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

Especially this being my first year in camp. I think that’s kind of a big, almost confidence boost for me, especially coming into my first season when I have the potential to be in the big leagues and having that confidence from the front office. Definitely helps that they trust me to go in and set the tone for the first game.

Rom was drafted in 2018 out of high school in Kentucky. So he’s been in the organization for some time, and has been waiting for his chance at the big leagues. But for now, he’ll settle for a Spring Training Opening Day start on Saturday. (Or any spring game at all for that matter.)

I would also remind fans as we get going with these spring games that the pitching rotation is set in advance. Guys come to the ballpark everyday knowing when, if, and for how long they’ll be appearing in that day’s game. Sometimes they’re even aware of it well before game day. So Rom may only be in the game on Saturday for one or two innings. And Brandon Hyde will have a pre-set list of pitchers who will be scheduled to come in for limited appearances after that.

However it all starts with Drew Rom. For all we know this could be the highlight of his career – starting in a big league spring training game. The hope is that he throws well and has a good camp – and that we see him in Baltimore at some point this year. But it’s tough to say. The only thing we can say for sure is that he’s starting on Saturday afternoon for the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium against the Minnesota Twins.

Baltimore Orioles: A President’s Day tradition

The Baltimore Orioles and every other team are currently in Spring Training. Games start next weekend. But the rest of the country takes today off in honor of President’s Day.

I write this column every year. One of my passions in life is civics. And the American Presidency is an institution that has a relationship with Major League Baseball unlike any other sport.

President William Howard Taft unknowingly began an important tradition in 1910; he went to Griffith Stadium in Washington DC and threw out the first pitch at the Washington Senators’ game on Opening Day. It wasn’t something that was covered in great fanfare, but it’s noteworthy from a historical perspective. Since then Presidents have been an indelible part of the landscape of the game of baseball. And of sports.

President Taft and nearly every one of his predecessors threw out first pitches. Usually in DC. Also it happened from time to time in the World Series. And even in the All-Star Game. At times, the Vice-President would stand in for the President on Opening Day – this actually happened for the first time in 1912, when Vice-President James Sherman filled in for President Taft. Other “Veep’s” to do the honors over the years were Nixon, Humphrey, Agnew, Bush, Quayle, Gore, Cheney, and Biden.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt of course was a quadriplegic – which for the most part was unbeknownst to the general public. (On a side note, that’s most definitely NOT something that could be concealed today.) Luckily for FDR however, back then the President threw the first pitch from the stands. In 1940 at Griffith Stadium his pitch hit a Washington Post camera. Five years later President Harry Truman did the honors at the World Series (in DC), becoming the first President to throw the first pitch as a southpaw.

In 1958 President Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first to throw out a first pitch in Baltimore. He did so at the All-Star game, which that year was held at Memorial Stadium. President Jimmy Carter returned the Presidency to Memorial Stadium in 1979 for the World Series. Presidents Reagan, Bush (41), and Clinton would also visit Baltimore to do these honors, as did Vice-President Dan Quayle. President Lyndon B. Johnson also set a still-standing Presidential record on 1964 in Washington DC. He ate the most hot dogs (4) of any President ever on Opening Day.

Numerous former Presidents have also thrown out first pitches. However President Barrack Obama was the last sitting President to appear in person – this in 2010, at Nationals Park. In commemoration of 100 years since President Taft began the tradition.

And with that said, yes this is an Orioles column. But I would submit that President Biden might consider rekindling the tradition this April at Nationals Park. America’s pastime is baseball. That will always be the case. And again, baseball has a unique relationship with the White House. And I think that the President of the United States should throw out the first ball on Opening Day every year in Washington DC.