Orioles announce three cuts, take early lead on Pirates (Hardy homers)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles have reassigned pitchers Mike Wright and Fabio Castillo and first baseman Chris Marrero to minor league camp.

The moves leave the Orioles with 56 players in major league camp, including 16 non-roster invitees.

Wright is regarded as one of the better pitching prospects in the organization and could start the year at Triple-A Norfolk.

Chris Davis belted an opposite-field two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning to give the Orioles a 3-0 lead over the Pirates and keep their offense churning.

The Orioles scored 20 combined runs in the two intrasquad games yesterday and tallied three runs only three batters into today's game.

David Lough reached on a bunt single and scored on Nelson Cruz's double down the left-field line. Davis followed with a two-run shot off right-hander Edinson Volquez, the ball clearing the stands in left.

Davis is 6-for-13 with a double, two home runs, six RBIs and four runs scored. He also homered in an intrasquad game.

Davis walked past me during a workout last month and said he was going to be Comeback Player of the Year in 2014. Come back from what?

Wei-Yin Chen has retired five straight Pirates since Sterling Marte's leadoff single in the first. He's faced the minimum number of batters after getting Andrew McCutchen to ground into a double play.

Chen has thrown 25 pitches, 18 for strikes. Eight pitches came against Marte, and seven against Jose Tabata in the second inning.

Update: Chen retired eight straight batters after the leadoff single, striking out the last two looking at 92 and 93 mph fastballs.

Chen allowed one hit, walked none and struck out two over three innings. He threw 41 pitches, 29 for strikes.

Davis singled in the third, making him 7-for-14 this spring.

Update II: J.J. Hardy hit a three-run homer in the third and drove Volquez from the game.

Orioles 6, Pirates 0.

Hardy is 6-for-14 with a homer and six RBIs this spring. And the Orioles can't stop scoring runs. That's 26 in two days.

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