Orioles best Tigers in Sarasota, 7-5

The first pitch this afternoon was fired in by Andrew Cashner at 3:09pm and the temperature in Sarasota shined at 80 degrees. It almost mimicked a mid-to-late May start back home in Baltimore and judging by the line starter Andrew Cashner turned in, you’d think we were back in 2018.

Making his first Grapefruit League start this spring, manager Brandon Hyde told MASN, “I’d like to see Cash carry his veto through three innings and we’ll progress from there.” The first few pitches weren’t tracked via the MASN scoreboard display graphic, but I clocked Cashner’s fastball in the lo 90s today, maxing at 92mph.

Hyde also told MASN about how he felt regarding the first few outings for the starters this spring. “I wouldn’t put too much stock in it,” Hyde told Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer. Cashner went three full innings today against the Tigers, throwing 54 pitches, 37 for strikes and allowing four runs on six hits with three strikeouts.

In their first and only trip to Sarasota this spring, the Tigers kicked off the scoring in the first inning as Cashner hit JaCoby Jones to lead off the game and allows a single to center fielder Daniel Woodrow. Two batters later, first baseman Niko Goodrum made Cashner pay, as he hit his second Grapefruit League home run, giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead.

The Orioles, featuring Jonathan Villar leading off, were able to put a runner in scoring position, but didn’t score. Villar led off the game with a single and stole his first base during the inning, but a Renato Núñez fly out ended the inning without any runs scored.

Cashner seemed to settle in for his second inning of work, striking out the first two Tiger batters and forcing a groundout to end their half of the second. However, the Orioles themselves went three-up-three-down in the bottom half of the inning. After Austin Wynns walked to lead off the inning, number one prospect Yusniel Diaz flied out to center field and Alcides Escobar lined a ball right back to Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd that was hit so hard it knocked his glove off. Boyd snow coned it, tossed it in the air and caught it with his barehand, doubling up Wynns off first.

The Tigers struck again in the third inning, Cashner’s final inning of work today. After retiring the first two batters, he allowed back-to-back singled to Goodrum and left fielder Brandon Dixon, before right fielder Dustin Peterson doubled into left field, scoring Goodrum from second.

As the score sit 4-0 in the bottom of the third, Austin Hays led off the inning with his second home run of the spring. His first was on Friday night in a split-squad game against the Yankees in Tampa. Anthony Santander came up next and hit his first double of the spring into the left field corner, flipping the lineup around to Villar who walked to reach base for the second time today. However, a fly out off the bat of Joey Rickard, and strikeouts of Chris Davis – his second – and Núñez ended their threat.

Starting the fourth inning, the Orioles sent out Tanner Scott who immediately began firing at 97mph. Making his third appearance of the spring, Scott pitched a clean inning, facing the minimum three batters. In the bottom half of the inning, the Orioles made some noise, tying the game on a Santander three-run home run that scored Escobar – who reached on a fielders choice – and Hays who walked before him.

Branden Kline took over for Scott to begin the fifth. In Kline’s previous two outings, he faced six batters over two innings, striking out five. He only struck out one today, but was removed after two-thirds of an inning due to his pitch count. He was charged with one earned run on two hits as the Tigers took a 5-4 lead.

Gabriel Ynoa made his second appearance of the spring, starting the sixth inning. He faced the minimum six batters and struck out three over his two innings of work, running his strikeout total to five this spring. The Orioles tied the score in the bottom of the seventh as Santander knocked his second double of the day into the left field corner and Rickard blooped a ball in front of the left fielders feet.

Pedro Araujo, who will be on the Opening Day roster to complete his Rule-5 status, came out to begin the eighth inning. He threw just 14 pitches and retired the Tigers three-up-three-down. Ryan Mountcastle led off the bottom part of the eighth with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Tigers pitcher Gregory Soto. Andrew Susac, who replaced Wynns in the sixth walked and Mountcastle advanced on a passed ball. DJ Stewart, who replaced Diaz in right field walked and Rule-5 pick Drew Jackson flied out to right field, scoring Mountcastle from third and giving the Orioles a 6-5 lead.

The next batter, TJ Nichting who replaced Hays in left field singled into center field, scoring Susac from third, moving the Orioles lead to 7-5. Cody Carroll came on to pitch the ninth inning and threw just seven pitches before retiring Tigers hitters one-two-three and closing out the game, giving the Orioles their fifth Grapefruit League victory.

Up next, the Orioles will travel back to Fort Myers to take on the Minnesota Twins tomorrow at 1:05pm. Dylan Bundy will get the start and you can hear the game streamed live on Orioles.com.

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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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