Burnes: "Overall, great spot and looking forward to Thursday” (O's win 3-2)

SARASOTA, Fla. – The final exhibition start for Corbin Burnes was more of a tune-up for Opening Day. Get a few more innings and pitches under his belt and get him out of Florida healthy.

Burnes worked 5 1/3 innings tonight before Tyler Wells replaced him, allowing two runs (one earned) and five hits with no walks and four strikeouts. He totaled 57 pitches, 44 for strikes in his fifth spring training appearance, and did more throwing in the bullpen.

Other work in camp was done on the back fields. Not everything that happens is for public viewing.

Burnes finishes with a 6.75 ERA in 16 innings.

“We’re in a great spot,” he said. “We were kind of at the point early on where we were trying to find the cutter a little bit, just the command of it. Off-speed stuff’s been great the whole camp, which usually comes pretty quickly for me. The last thing is as you kind of ramp up throwing, it’s all about finding the cutter and we did the last two, which has been really good.”

Burnes faced the minimum number of batters through three innings after Nathan Luke’s one-out single in the first and Davis Schneider’s double play grounder. He struck out three, including Daniel Vogelbach on a 96 mph fastball.

The start began to sputter in the fourth a leadoff single by Ernie Clement, Burnes’ third errant pickoff throw in his last two outings, and Lukes’ RBI single.

Rafael Lantigua and Garrett Spain doubled in the fifth to tie the game 2-2. Burnes came back out to face one batter in the sixth, getting another “up,” and retired Lukes on a liner to second baseman Jorge Mateo. All three pitches were strikes.

Manager Brandon Hyde did more substituting. Adley Rutschman followed Burnes to the dugout.

“Like I said last time out, things clicked with Adley,” Burnes said. “We had numerous chances today to kind of work on some stuff because we were ahead. We got to try out a couple things that we don’t normally do today, which is great, which typically you don’t really get to that much in camp. Was happy where everything’s at.

“Pitch count-wise, had to come down here and throw some more in the bullpen just because we were getting such early contact and quick outs. Overall, great spot and looking forward to Thursday.”

* Austin Hays was hit on the right shoulder by a CJ Van Eyk pitch in the fifth inning. He stayed in the game until the final out and walked to the clubhouse with head athletic trainer Brian Ebel.

The scene looked a bit ominous, but Hays apparently is fine.

The team announced that he has a right shoulder contusion.

* Mateo knows that he’s going to have limited exposure to the shortstop position that now belongs to Gunnar Henderson.

The Orioles plan on using Mateo in a utility-type role with his ability to handle the middle infield and move around the outfield, where his speed and athleticism could compensate for his inexperience.

“It just feels really good because it provides another opportunity for me to be out there on the field and play regardless of the fact whether I don’t have a set position,” he said via interpreter Brandon Quinones.

Mateo has made only three starts in the outfield – two in center and one in right, with three innings in left – but said he feels “really comfortable out there.”

Hyde confirmed Thursday in Fort Myers that Mateo made the club.

“I feel really good,” Mateo said. “Coming in, I just came with the mentality to just help the team.”

Mateo was busy at second. He turned a double play in the first inning, caught a popup in the third, had back-to-back assists in the fourth and another in the fifth, and caught the liner in the sixth. He also doubled in the seventh.

* Henderson had a one-out double in the fourth inning after Rutschman’s second walk of the night. Rutschman scored on Anthony Santander’s ground ball and Henderson came home with the go-ahead run on Ryan Mountcastle’s sacrifice fly.

Santander hit his fifth home run in the sixth inning, a two-out solo shot to right field for a 3-2 lead.

* Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. issued a statement on the passing of Peter G. Angelos:

“Peter was a significant influence in Baltimore for decades. His impact on our region through his ownership of the Orioles and his many charitable contributions has been undeniable. Peter and I had a good relationship and following my retirement, his generosity towards our family’s foundation and assistance in making the IronBirds an Orioles affiliate in our hometown were greatly appreciated. Laura and I have Georgia and the Angelos family in our thoughts today.”

Mayor Brandon Scott posted the following on the former Twitter:

“Peter Angelos was a true Baltimorean. His impact on Baltimore & Baltimoreans will live for generations. Thank you, Peter, for never giving up on and always believing in our city! Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Angelos family & Orioles organization today.”

Former center fielder Adam Jones also posted.

“Saddened to hear the loss of Peter Angelos. Mr. Angelos was an incredible man and we both shared a deep love for the city of Baltimore and the Orioles. Sending my condolences to the Angelos family during this difficult time. Rest in Power Mr. A.”

* Tyler Wells threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings in a 3-2 win over the Blue Jays. The Orioles are 22-6-2.

Ramón Urías had two more hits and is batting .303 with a 1.005 OPS.

Hyde was asked about Burnes.

“Looked really good,” he said. “They’ve got a young group over there and they were pretty aggressive against him. … I thought he threw the ball really well and nice tune-up for Opening Day.”

Hyde also said he’s hoping that Hays can make the trip to Fort Myers on Sunday and get a few more at-bats. Hays had just returned to the lineup after dealing with a stomach illness.

“He’s had kind of an interrupted camp,” Hyde said. “That’s why he was trying to stay in there, because he felt like he wanted the at-bats. … We’re going to try to make some at-bats up for him in workouts at Camden Yards.”

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