In his first spring game on Sunday versus Detroit at Ed Smith Stadium, Cashner allowed six hits and four runs over three innings. But today versus the Red Sox he retired the side in order in the first on just 11 pitches. He then got Steve Pearce and Christian Vázquez quickly to start the second.
But a 10-pitch walk to designated hitter Sandy Leon extended the inning and Cashner walked Gorkys Hernández also. A ground-rule RBI double to left by Tzu-Wei Lin followed and Cashner’s start was over. He threw 40 pitches, 23 for strikes, and he threw 29 pitches in the second inning.
“That’s some of the better stuff that I’ve had in a while,” Cashner said outside the Orioles clubhouse. “I’ve been working on my slider. I thought my slider was tight. Missed a couple of change-ups, but overall I thought I was backspinning the baseball really well.
“I was really lobbying to keep going, but they didn’t want me to throw more than 30 pitches (in that inning), but I understand. I got it up to 60, so next time out, I’ll get it up to 60, 70 pitches, but overall I feel great.”
Cashner added about 20 pitches in the bullpen after he was pulled from the game. And he was not surprised at the early hook with his pitch count spiraling in the second inning.
“No, just because it’s early in spring,” he said. “It’s my second outing out there. They’re just protecting me. I understand that, so you’ve got to respect that.”
Cashner’s pitch count started to escalate with the 10-pitch walk.
“You always don’t want to show all your pitches,” he said. “We face these guys a lot. It’s more of, you’re trying to hit locations, keep the ball down in the zone. I thought that fastball was a strike. In the regular season, I get it.”
Through two games, Cashner has pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and five runs with two walks and four strikeouts.