Baltimore Orioles Drop Opener, Prepare For Red Sox On TV
By Nick Stevens
After dropping their opening game vs Atlanta, the Baltimore Orioles are on MASN today to take on the Boston Red Sox.
When 42-year-old Felix Hernandez took the mound against the Baltimore Orioles…what’s that? Oh, Hernandez is only 33 years old? That’s really hard to believe considering Hernandez made his major league debut back when I was in high school and he’s only a year older than I am, but I digress.
The Orioles opened up their 2020 Grapefruit League schedule on Saturday afternoon on the road against Hernandez and the Atlanta Braves. King Felix threw an easy two innings, striking out two and allowing just one baserunner, joining five other Braves pitchers who combined to throw a four-hit shutout against Baltimore.
If you have MLB TV, you were able to watch yesterday’s performance, a bit of a preview of what fans can expect across the upcoming 162-game regular-season schedule.
RHP Chandler Shepherd looked just like Chandler Shepherd, giving up three runs on two hits with two walks and no strikeouts in his two innings of work. Shepherd was followed by RHP Ty Blach and LHP Rob Zastryzny who gave up a combined two runs on five hits in three innings.
The one highlight of the afternoon was RHP Cody Carroll. Carroll missed essentially all of 2019 with back problems, but enters 2020 healthy and coming off an impressive performance in the Arizona Fall League. We recently highlighted Carroll here, and for good reason.
In his first opportunity to earn a 26-man roster this spring, Carroll tossed a scoreless frame, striking out veteran Yangervis Solarte and Atlanta’s second-ranked prospect in Drew Waters along the way.
Offensively, there wasn’t much going on for the Orioles. The lineup produced four hits on the afternoon, all singles against Atlanta pitching. One of those hits did come off the bat of Ryan Mountcastle. One of Baltimore’s top prospects, Mountcastle got the start in left field, making a few easy plays to get his feet wet at yet another new position.
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Mountcastle saw a good amount of time in left field to end the Triple-A season last year, but he’s going to be given ample time to continue to learn the position during spring training.
Outfielder Cedric Mullins replaced Austin Hays in center field late in the game. Looking to put 2019 behind him and start fresh, Mullins drew a walk in his only plate appearance and stole a base.
For those of you who weren’t able to watch yesterday’s contest, today is your lucky day. The Orioles make their Ed Smith Stadium debut on Sunday at 1 pm against the Boston Red Sox. Recently acquired LHP Wade LeBlanc gets the start for Baltimore, while Chris Mazza will throw for Boston.
The game will be aired on MASN. After Saturday’s game, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde noted that he will use a very different lineup in Sunday’s outing, but don’t expect to see Adley Rutschman starting behind the plate (struck out in his only plate appearance against Atlanta).