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Orioles bats go cold in loss to Rays

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Orioles bats go cold in loss to Rays

BALTIMORE -- Substitute starter Austin Pruitt combined with four other Tampa Bay relievers on a two-hitter, and the Rays capitalized on Wade Miley's wildness in a 2-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.

On another damp and chilly night at Camden Yards, Rays starter Erasmo Ramirez was a late scratch due to "uncertain weather conditions," according to the team.

Pruitt, a rookie right-hander making his first major league start, allowed one hit in three innings. Danny Farquhar followed by getting two outs; Jumbo Diaz went 1 1/3 innings; Chase Whitley (1-0) contributed three perfect innings and Alex Colome worked the ninth for his fifth save.

Tampa Bay pitchers retired 17 straight batters before Chris Davis drew a two-out walk in the ninth. Colome then struck out Mark Trumbo to end it.

Baltimore's lone hits were a double by Jonathan Schoop in the second and an infield hit by Davis in the fourth.

Miley (1-1) gave up only four hits in seven innings, striking out eight. But the lefty issued six walks, including three in the pivotal fourth inning when Tampa Bay went up 2-0.

After Rickie Weeks Jr. and Logan Morrison walked with one out, Tim Beckham hit an RBI single and Derek Norris added a run-scoring fly ball.

Steven Souza Jr. had three hits for the Rays, now 2-7 on the road. Tampa Bay has drawn 14 walks in the first two games of the series.

Baltimore needs to win the finale on Wednesday night to avoid its first series loss.

RELATED: Orioles beat Rays, 6-3, Monday night

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Orioles' Ryan Mountcastle's monster batting practice translated directly to the game

Orioles' Ryan Mountcastle's monster batting practice translated directly to the game

Orioles prospect Ryan Mountcastle had quite at the plate Thursday. 

Something had to have clicked during batting practice, when the young slugger launched a monster shot to left field that hit the light pole and scared a bunch of unsuspecting birds. 

Then during the Orioles' spring training matchup with the Pirates, Mountcastle went on to go 3-for-3 with two doubles, a home run, three RBI and three runs scored. 

Through four games now this spring the 23-year-old first baseman is hitting .417, which is a promising sign for both Mountcastle and the Orioles. Baltimore needs players like him to blossom into bonafide major-league starters if they're going to turn around and contend at some point over the next five years. 

Whether the Orioles decide to start Mountcastle's season in the majors or minors has yet to be seen. However, he probably starts the season in the minor league's given Chris Davis, Trey Mancini or Renato Nunez are the club's options at first, while there are also service time incentives for Baltimore to keep him off the major league roster right away. 

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Asher Wojciechowski returns to mound after blister issue on right middle finger

Asher Wojciechowski returns to mound after blister issue on right middle finger

SARASOTA, Fla. — Asher Wojciechowski knew he threw one bad pitch. And Travis d’Arnaud sent it to the left field stands. 

But aside from the mistake in the second inning, Wojciechowski felt good after his first appearance of the spring, a start against the Braves on Wednesday at Ed Smith Stadium. 

Wojciechowski had to delay his first appearance for a few days after a blister issue on his right middle finger. 

“First time out there, you always kind of have that little self-doubt when it’s been through the offseason,” Wojciechowski said. “It’s nice to go out there and execute pitches and get back into the rhythm.”

He ended the day after two innings pitched with one earned run allowed — the home run — as well as two hits. He struck out two batters on 33 pitches, 24 of which were strikes.

Most importantly, though, the blister issue didn’t hamper the right-hander on any of his pitches.

“I made one mistake to D’Arnaud, first pitch of the second inning,” Wojciechowski said. “Kind of knew he was going to swing and just didn’t execute that pitch. For the most part, just happy with how I felt. Looking to build on each outing and get ready for the season.”

Last season, Wojciechowski threw in 17 games, and 16 starts for the Orioles. He posted a 4.92 ERA in 82 ⅓ innings pitched. He struck out 80 batters and posted a WHIP of 1.31. 

Now, he’s got his sights set on cementing his role in a starting rotation, one that has his name penciled in as one of the first starters.

“I would say my mentality is, yes, win a rotation job no matter what,” he said. I don’t want to change my mindset on how I compete, or how I prepare. I want to go out there and give it everything I have every single day. When it comes to the mindset and preparation, I’m not changing anything I’m doing. That being said, it is kind of nice knowing I have somewhat of a role. But I’m not letting that change the way I prepare.”

One of the things he’s hoping will help gain a more permanent fixture in the rotation is a split-changeup, a pitch he added over the offseason. He threw two against the Braves, to varying degrees of success.

“I was happy with one of them, it was just a little bit off,” Wojciechowski said. “I threw one to (Ozzie) Albies and I thought it was good, it was just a little bit off. Then I threw another one to (Johan) Camargo and it was just alright. Definitely trying to utilize that pitch more, just going to have to throw it in these games and see how it works against hitters.”

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