PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Tommy Hunter entered the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, and the first batter he faced, Sean Rodriguez, lined a home run to right field.
Tampa Bay 4, Orioles 0.
Rodriguez was 0-for-12 this spring before the homer.
Alexi Casilla reached on an infield hit in the top of the sixth, but he was thrown out trying to steal second base. Manny Machado tripled to center field with two outs.
Update: Machado scored on Jason Pridie’s single into right field. Machado is 5-for-10 this spring. Pridie is 3-for-9 with three RBIs.
Here’s a partial transcript of the in-game interview with left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, who allowed two hits in two scoreless innings. Quotes provided by his interpreter, Tim Lin.
On how he threw:
“Spring training debut of this year, I feel pretty satisfied for today.”
On whether it felt good to finally get in a game:
“I’m really excited. I feel really good. It’s been too long for me.”
On whether there were certain pitches he was most satisfied with:
“I think my command and breaking ball control is getting better and better this year.”
More on being held back until today:
“It’s not a big deal for me. I really appreciate our coaching staff because I have soreness in my knee before, so they pushed back (my start) a little more for me. But really, I’m on schedule right now.”
On when the soreness cropped up:
“Like around late August or early September.”
On whether the knee bothers him on the mound:
“Last year, I feel like a little bit scary about pitching because of soreness in my knee. This year, I feel totally fine. I’m really lucky enough to be pitching again today.”
Reporters kept pressing Chen about the knee, thinking at first that he was referring to a new condition. He had ice on his right knee today, as well as his left shoulder, but he was talking about last season’s discomfort.
Apparently, the Orioles are just being cautious with him this spring. Same with Jason Hammel following his knee surgery in July.