FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Orioles aren’t expected to announce their latest roster cuts until later tonight or in the morning. They’ll send out a couple of pitchers.
The pitching this afternoon was spotty, to put it mildly. Hunter Harvey earned a passing grade from manager Buck Showalter following a 9-8 loss to the Twins and left-hander Richard Bleier was a groundball machine in the eighth, the only baserunner reaching on shortstop Engebl Vielma’s fielding error.
Left-hander Joely Rodriguez retired the side in order in the sixth after letting three inherited runners score in the fifth on Joe Mauer’s bases-loaded double.
“Joely threw the ball well after the base hit to Mauer,” Showalter said.
Harvey allowed one run and two hits in two innings and his fastball kept touching 97 mph in the first. Jorge Polanco homered with one out in the second.
“Just one, trying to go in a little bit, got too much of the plate, but he’s been impressive,” Showalter said. “You can tell he feels really good physically. That’s the most important thing. Command was good in spots, but good to get him back out there, couple innings under his belt.
“He threw the ball well. Got him up around 50 pitches. Thought he threw the ball well.”
Harvey is expected to make another start in the Grapefruit League.
“I think that’s the plan,” Showalter said. “With all the guys not starting against people in our division, there will be some spots for him.”
The pitching issues included a run and three hits with two walks from David Hess over 1 2/3 innings, the five runs charged to Jesus Liranzo in one inning - the last three after Rodriguez replaced him - and Jeff Ferrell’s two runs and three hits in the seventh.
Anthony Santander went 2-for-3 with his second home run.
“Santander swung the bat well again,” Showalter said. “Good to see Anthony get going because we need him to be more than ... we don’t look at it as just a guy who’s trying to get (44 days) under his belt. We’re looking at this guy we hope can stick and be a contributor.
“He’s worked real hard defensively, running, everything. He’s trying to make a mark.”
Update: The Orioles optioned Hess to Triple-A Norfolk and reassigned Ferrell to minor league camp.