Lineup and notes for today’s game against the Phillies

The Baltimore Orioles scored a total of 18 runs yesterday, however, 17 of them came in the first game of their second day of split-squad action. The afternoon matchup was against the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte. It was anything but a pitcher’s dual, with 32 combined runs scored, 28 total hits and nine total errors committed.

Their 17 runs scored yesterday afternoon was a Spring Training high for the club as Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays each hit a home run and drove in four runs. Rio Ruiz also had a home run and drove in three runs himself. The Orioles were able to hold off the Rays, as they won their ninth Grapefruit League game, 17-15.

In the night cap, David Hess took the mound against the New York Yankees for his second start of the spring. He worked into the fourth inning, but was pulled after his pitch count sat at 63. After three-and-one-third of an inning, Hess had allowed two earned runs on three hits with two strikeouts. Richard Bleier made his first appearance of the spring after recovering from lat-surgery that forced his 2018 season to come to an end. He only threw 19 pitches and retired two batters, but he was pleased with his first outing.

Speaking with Gary Thorne and Brian Roberts, Bleier said, “Obviously the results weren’t quite there in terms of runs given up, but in terms of executing pitches, I feel like I didn’t execute one pitch and that was the first double. The ball felt like it was coming out of my hand really well and the action was there and I’m very happy with it.”

Anthony Santander hit his sixth double last night in the seventh inning. He’s now batting .458 this spring (11-for-28) and his six doubles lead all players in MLB Spring Training. He’s now up to eight extra-base hits, also good for the most covering Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues.

Today, the Philadelphia Phillies make their first trip to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida. This is the only trip to Sarasota for the Phillies today and their prized acquisition, Bryce Harper, did not travel with them. The two teams played to a 5-5 tie when they met last in Clearwater, Florida.

Josh Rogers will make his first Grapefruit League start and his fifth overall appearances. He didn’t allow a run in his first three outings of the spring. On February 23 against the Minnesota Twins, he faced four batters in an inning, allowing one hit and striking out one. His next two appearances were against the Rays, on February 26 and March 1. In the former, he pitched two innings, allowed one hit and walked one and in the latter, he again pitched two innings but this time around, he didn’t allow a hit, a walk, or a run.

His last outing on Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates saw him toss two innings again, while giving up his only run of the spring on two hits, while walking two and striking out one. The run was a solo home run to Pirates second baseman, Kevin Kramer.

Behind Rogers today, we’ll see right-handers Luis Ortiz, Miguel Castro Branden Kline and Rule-5 pick Pedro Araujo, who was scheduled to pitch last night but did not. Also, left-hander Paul Fry will appear in today’s game too.

Ortiz has had a rough spring and certainly isn’t stating his case to break camp with the team. He’ll make his fourth appearance today, after allowing eight earned runs in his previous three outings. He’s thrown five innings and was touched for two runs against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers on February 25 and six total runs against the Rays on March 1 in Sarasota and on Wednesday in Port Charlotte.

Castro will make his fifth appearance today and has not allowed in his four innings of work this spring. He didn’t allow a hit until his last outing on Thursday against the Pirates in Bradenton.

Araujo will pitch for the fourth time today, trying to have his third scoreless outing in-a-row. His first outing on February 28 against the Phillies in Clearwater saw him pitch just a third of an inning, while giving up one earned run on two hits. On March 3 against the Detroit Tigers, Araujo struck out two of the three batters he faced and on Wednesday in Port Charlotte, he allowed two hits to the Rays, while striking out one.

Kline makes his fifth trip to the mound and has allowed runs in back-to-back appearances. He didn’t allow a run in his first two outings and is tied for seventh among Orioles pitchers this spring with seven strikeouts.

Fry is also another bullpen candidate that has not allowed a run this spring. He will be making his fifth appearance, after pitching one inning in each of his last four. He’s walked three this spring, while allowing just three hits and striking out three.

Today’s lineup is leadoff by Jonathan Villar, playing second base. Following him will be Stevie Wilkerson at first base and Rio Ruiz covering the other infield corner. DJ Stewart will bat cleanup and play left field, while Joey Rickard bats fifth, playing right field. Austin Hays will be in center field and will hit sixth. Yusniel Diaz will serve as the designated hitter today and will bat seventh while Alcides Escobar will bat eighth and play shortstop. Jesús Sucre will handle the catching duties and will bat ninth.

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Brian Pinter

Brian Pinter is the Director of Coverage on the Baltimore Orioles for Maryland Sports Blog. His views and opinions are that of his own and he welcomes any and all discussions. Follow along with Brian Pinter this season on Twitter, @b_pinter23.

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