Mychal Givens struggles again as O’s fall to Yankees

TAMPA - The Orioles built an early four-run lead tonight, but right-hander Mychal Givens struggled again as the New York Yankees rallied against him in the last of the eighth for an 8-7 win.

The Orioles fell to 9-8-2 in front of 9,743 at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Givens, who had allowed six runs in 2 1/3 innings in his first three outings, entered with a lead of 7-5. But he allowed a leadoff homer to Kyle Higashioka and he went on to just get one out as two runs scored to tie the game before he was replaced by Josh Lucas. Lucas inherited a bases-loaded, one-out mess and got two outs. But the first one went for a sac fly by Clint Frazier for the lead.

Givens allowed three hits and was charged with three runs for an ERA of 30.38. He’s been scored on in three of his four outings.

Givens-Throws-Gray.jpg“You know, his stuff looked really good,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “His velo was up. I just think he missed in the middle part of the plate a couple of times. Just like he wasn’t commanding. But I was happy with the fastball velo and it was coming out well. Just wasn’t his night.”

But Hyde said he is not concerned by the results, at least not yet.

“It’s still too early. I think we’re seeing his stuff tick up in every outing. That’s the positive. I’m sure he’s disappointed with his command right now, but stuff-wise looked good.”

Austin Hays had another big game for the Orioles with a three-run double in the second and solo homer in the seventh for a 7-5 lead. He went 2-for-3 with four RBIs and is batting .355 with four homers and 11 RBIs.

“Continues to play well, like a lot of our guys,” said Hyde. “I thought we played well. Had some big hits. Austin with a couple of big hits. We played well defensively. Thought we played pretty well tonight.”

The game marked the return to the lineup of Chris Davis. Out with a left hip injury since March 3, he batted twice and struck out looking in the first but lined an RBI single to left in the second. Davis is 2-for-14 with a homer and three RBIs.

“That was nice. Took a really good BP today. Left here feeling good. Nice to see him drive the ball the other way,” said Hyde.

Earlier, Davis talked about his night and you can read those quotes here.

Starter Mike Wright saw his 10-inning spring scoreless streak snapped two batters into his night when Aaron Judge hit a two-run homer to right. Wright would pitch out of a jam later that inning but allowed six hits and two runs over 2 2/3 innings for an ERA of 1.42 in five spring outings.

“Obviously, I don’t want to come out in the first inning (and struggle),” said Wright. I’m trying to increase my innings and right now I can’t get past the third. Hopefully, moving forward, I’ll get to do that. Just got a groundball (double play to end the first). Trying to let this defense work. There were some great plays behind me again today, super exciting. I’m fired up when they make plays behind me. Richie (Martin) is diving all over the infield. (Stevie) Wilkerson is diving all over the infield and Cedric (Mullins) is running things down in the gap. Awesome to see.”

It was a good test for Wright against many Yankees regulars.

“I mean that’s a power lineup but when I was in jetBlue (facing Boston), they had a lot of their A guys in there, too. Same test. Being on the road, being a night game it was exciting. You look forward to getting against a lineup like that in spring,” he said.

John Means was charged with three runs over two innings and Nate Karns pitched a scoreless sixth. It was his third straight scoreless and hitless inning his past three games. Richard Bleier threw a scoreless seventh in his second appearance. Former Oriole Zack Britton threw two scoreless innings versus his former team.

The Orioles host Toronto Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. at Ed Smith Stadium. Andrew Cashner will start against Marcus Stroman. Also scheduled to pitch for the Orioles are Yefry Ramirez, Cody Carroll, Evan Phillips and Tanner Scott. Mark Trumbo, who had right knee surgery in September, is expected to make his spring debut in that game as the designated hitter.

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