SARASOTA, Fla. - Today’s starting pitchers, the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman and the Pirates’ Garret Cole, allowed leadoff home runs in the first inning.
How often does that happen? Anyone care to look it up?
Starling Marte drove a Gausman pitch to center field. Nick Markakis, who remained in the lineup despite dealing with a stomach issue, cleared the fence in left-center field for his first spring home run.
David Lough reached on an error, stole second and took third on a ground ball, but Cole struck out Chris Davis looking and retired Nelson Cruz on a fly ball to right.
Gausman threw 26 pitches in the first, 17 for strikes. He walked Travis Snider and gave up a double to Andrew McCutchen to put runners on second and third with no outs, but he struck out Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker and former Oriole Travis Ishikawa.
Ishikawa took a 98 mph fastball to end the inning.
Ten members of the Orioles organization who were part of the Surprise Saguaros team of the Arizona Fall League received their championship rings before today’s game in a ceremony that included executive vice president Dan Duquette.
The roll call consisted of manager Gary Kendall, pitching coach Alan Mills and players Henry Urrutia, Jonathan Schoop, Dariel Alvarez, Tim Berry, Eduardo Rodriguez, Jason Gurka, Branden Kline and Michael Ohlman.
Earlier today, manager Buck Showalter mentioned that first baseman Chris Marrero played in a simulated game at Twin Lakes Park and is getting close to appearing in minor league games. Marrero strained his oblique early in camp.
Asked about new infielder David Adams, Showalter replied, “I know Adams has played a lot of different positions. You can never have enough of those guys.”
Showalter isn’t ready to announce the rest of his rotation, though Wei-Yin Chen is expected to start the third game, followed by Miguel Gonzalez in the fourth game.
“We’re still looking at some matchups, just trying to look at a couple things,” Showalter said. “Want to see how we might match up a little. Looking at Detroit’s projected roster and Boston and the Yankees, whether or not there would be a slight advantage. Of course, they could change their roster from now to the end of the week. I think it’s Sunday. Rosters have to be in on the workout at noon.”
Delmon Young isn’t starting today, but he’s listed among the reserves and figures to play.
Young has rebounded from a 1-for-19 slump and is 10-for-36 this spring, including three doubles, a home run, two RBIs, no walks and nine strikeouts.
“I never really saw a point where he was struggling,” Showalter said. “I know one day he hit three balls on the button. He’s had a good spring. That’s what we hoped would happen. Him and Stevie (Pearce), and I’ll tell you, Nolan (Reimold’s) last three or four games looks more like Nolan, so we’ve got some tough decisions to make, which is what we hoped would happen. Some of it separated itself, but there’s not much separation in my mind.
“I don’t think anybody’s squared the ball up more in spring training from start to finish than Steve Pearce. One thing that the other guys, if they didn’t know then, they know now, they’re going to get an opportunity. It’s hard to fathom sometimes, but every once in a while there’s a method to the madness about road games and home games and making sure we get a good look at everybody.
“That one’s going to be tough. From my perspective, I’ll say what’s our best 25 and we’ll see if it matches up with the right 25.”
“He’s kind of picked up where he left off,” Showalter said. “You see the personality. He seems to have found a comfort zone down there in the bullpen. Not that he couldn’t start again. He’s still a young man.
“I think he’s doing the same thing (as 2013). He’s attacking the strike zone, throwing two breaking balls over for strikes. It’s obvious he came here ready to pitch. I think they all knew what was at stake, and I think he knows we get what he brings. He knows that he wants to present himself hopefully for our club, but if not, for somebody else. He’s going to be in the big leagues for somebody, more than likely, when this camp is over.
“I know a lot of vultures are lurking around with our out-of-option guys. We’ve got quite an attendance here. I get a list of the scouts every day, and if anything, it’s gotten more. We had 17 here the other day.”
Update: Jemile Weeks gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead in the second on an RBI grounder after Matt Wieters singled and Ryan Flaherty doubled. Chris Davis gave them a 3-1 lead in the third with a home run to left field.
Davis has four homers and 12 RBIs this spring.
Gausman threw 11 pitches in the third, nine for strikes, while retiring the Pirates in order. He’s at 53 pitches, 34 for strikes, in three innings.
Update II: Gausman allowed one run and three hits in four innings, with two walks, eight strikeouts and one home run. He threw 67 pitches, 42 for strikes.
A 26-pitch first inning hurt his chances of getting into the fifth.
In four Grapefruit League outings, Gausman has allowed three runs and seven hits in 11 innings, with four walks and 13 strikeouts. He also worked three innings in a minor league game.
Tommy Hunter tossed a scoreless fifth, allowing a bloop single to Marte and striking out one. Matt Wieters, who has two hits today, threw out Marte trying to steal.