Baltimore Orioles: Núñez, Cervenka Power Past The Twins
The spring training Baltimore Orioles are pretty good. We’re going to ride this as long as we can.
The Grapefruit League Baltimore Orioles haven’t lost very much this spring training. I don’t know how much longer we can say that so I’m going to continue to enjoy this ride for as long as possible.
Behind a third inning explosion of five runs, the Baltimore Orioles took down the Minnesota Twins in Grapefruit League action on Monday afternoon by a final score of 9-4.
Dylan Bundy made his second spring start, putting in three innings of work. His outing went much like most of 2018, a lot of swinging strikes and strikeouts, a lot of deep fly balls, and multiple home runs. With two outs in the bottom of the first, Bundy surrendered an opposite field home run to CJ Cron, who would hit another home run in the bottom of the third. Luckily, they don’t count, but it is still concerning.
From a pitching perspective, the highlight of the day was RHP David Hess. Hess is a favorite to win a spot in the starting rotation after showing improvement as his rookie season went along in 2018.
Hess also worked three innings, retiring all nine batters he faced. Any contact made against him resulted in a routine play as Hess sprinkled in three strikeouts on the afternoon. He needed less than 40 pitches to get through his outing. If you watched this game, this is peak David Hess who can be a very solid fifth starter in a major league rotation for a long time, as I mentioned in Sunday’s piece on the status update for the starting rotation competition.
Hess, Josh Osich, and Miguel Castro combined for five scoreless innings in which they struck out five and did not allow a single baserunner. The only Minnesota Twin to reach base after the third inning was Jordany Valdespin who hit a solo shot off Dillon Tate in the bottom of the 9th.
Third inning grand slam propels Baltimore Orioles to the win column.
More from Birds Watcher
- Baltimore Orioles Sign RP Mychal Givens
- Gunnar Henderson: Destroyer of Four-Seam Fastballs
- Which Current Baltimore Orioles Pitchers Have the Best Curveballs?
- Orioles News: Should the O’s Pursue Eovaldi? + More MLB News
- Should the Baltimore Orioles Consider Signing Nathan Eovaldi?
The Orioles added five runs in all in the third inning, four of those runs coming from a grand slam by Renato Núñez, his first home run of the spring. Richie Martin led off the frame with a single through the left side of the infield while an Eric Young Jr.HBP and Chance Sisco walk (his second of the day), loaded the bags for Núñez, but not for long.
Catcher Martin Cervenka also joined in on the home run parade today. After replacing Chance Sisco behind the plate late in the game, Cervenka picked out a high pitch and sent it deep over the left field wall for a three-run home run. With Sisco and Austin Wynns battling for the starting job and Andrew Susac also getting ample playing time, Cervenka hasn’t seen much game action this spring.
Cervenka is a sleeper name to watch closely down in the minors this year. In 97 appearances for the Bowie Baysox (AA), Cervenka hit .258 with 22 doubles and 15 home runs. He brings decent defense behind the plate and should be an interesting name to follow this season.
The Baltimore Orioles are now 6-3-2 this spring. They return to Ed Smith Stadium on Tuesday to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Alex Cobb will start, followed by Josh Rogers, Nate Karns, Mychal Givens, and Josh Lucas. The broadcast will not be televised.