FORT MYERS, Fla. - Orioles right-hander David Hess began his outing today with a spring ERA of 3.48, a batting average against of .237 and with a WHIP of 1.06 through four spring games. But he leaves with an ERA of 9.00 as Minnesota beat the Orioles 12-9 at Hammond Stadium.
The Orioles have lost five of six, two in the last two days to the Twins, and are 10-10-2. Minnesota improved to 12-9-2.
Hess elevated some pitches and paid for it, allowing four homers among nine hits and nine runs over 2 2/3 innings. The Twins got two off him in the first, four in the second and three in the third. He allowed a two-run homer in the first to Jason Castro, a two-run homer in the second to Ehire Adrianza, a solo in the third to Willians Astudillo and a two-run shot in the third to Luke Raley.
“I just think he missed in the upper quadrant of the strikezone and he just got hit today,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “It was one of those days. He couldn’t find a rhythm and they were really aggressive. He was leaving the ball in spots where they could drive it and they did.”
Said Hess: “Simply put, some days, it’s just not your day. The pitches and mistakes I made, they were taking them deep. The quality of pitches wasn’t quite there today. Me and Broc (pitching coach Doug Brocail) already talked about it. He gave some input and I went down and threw more pitches (in the bullpen) to work on stuff.
“I was kind of cutting the ball off a little bit. Instead of getting good drive through the catcher, I was falling off a bit. Need to stay strong with the lower half. But ultimately you learn from this and put it behind you.”
Hyde wanted Hess to build up his pitch count and had the opposite of a quick hook today.
“I’m a little more lenient in a spring training game,” he said. “We want him to work and get ready for the season. That is why I left him in a bit longer than I normally would. And we only have so many innings left. So we had (Josh) Rogers scheduled for multiple innings to get his pitch count (up). Just wanted David to build his pitch count.
“I hope he doesn’t put too much into this. I don’t think it ever feels good. Just takes what he needs to work on in a side session and get back out there and start in another four or five days.”
Down 9-0 after three, the Orioles pulled with 9-7 scoring three in the fourth and two each in the fifth and sixth. But two runs was as close as they would get. Joey Rickard had another solid day, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs and is batting .382. Trey Mancini made the trip south and went 3-for-4 and scored twice. He got a bloop to fall for a single in the fourth and later added a double and single. He began the day with two hits in 15 spring at-bats.
“He’s been grinding,” Hyde said of Mancini. “He is so hard on himself. I just want him to relax and take good at-bats. Let the results take care of themselves. He got one to fall and that probably loosened him up a bit.
“I think in general, you get down 9-0 in a spring training game, I just thought in general our at-bats all day long, team-wide, were impressive. We used the whole field really well and I thought our defensive was fantastic. We turned a couple of nice double plays.”
The Twins outhit the Orioles 17-12 and added two homers in the sixth off Rogers for a six home run day. Adrianza had a pair of two-run homers. Drew Jackson added a two-run homer for the Orioles. O’s pitchers allowed all the homers today but did not walk one batter. Attedance was 6,584 in Fort Myers.