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Veteran Cashner providing boost to O's staff

Righty on young starters: 'I think they're helping me just as much as I'm helping them'
Special to MLB.com

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Orioles hope Andrew Cashner's attitude is rubbing off on the team's starting staff.

In Cashner's second Grapefruit League outing, he pitched five innings in the O's 4-4 tie with the Mets on Friday, allowing a run on four hits with three strikeouts and no walks. The outing followed up Cashner's scoreless one-hit, four-inning debut against the Phillies on Sunday.

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Orioles hope Andrew Cashner's attitude is rubbing off on the team's starting staff.

In Cashner's second Grapefruit League outing, he pitched five innings in the O's 4-4 tie with the Mets on Friday, allowing a run on four hits with three strikeouts and no walks. The outing followed up Cashner's scoreless one-hit, four-inning debut against the Phillies on Sunday.

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"For me, it's a process. It's not so much spring," Cashner said. "The season is just a process of building up and doing what I need to do to build up. I think that for me, it starts with my glove-side fastball, and everything works off that. I'm pleased with where I'm at. Can I get better? Yes. We'll see where we're at here at the end of spring."

Cashner threw 63 pitches Friday, and manager Buck Showalter sent him to the bullpen after his outing to throw 17 more to get to 80.

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"He's got a track record. He's been in the big leagues," Showalter said. "What he knows is the accountability factor. This is about getting people out. It's still about pitching. His words carry some weight. It's not like he hasn't pitched in the American League before. He's pitched in a tough division there, too."

It was the second time Manny Machado played behind Cashner at shortstop.

"Hard in the zone, throwing strikes, keeping his defense active and throwing a lot of strikes," Machado said. "He's pounding the zone. He's getting it on the ground, striking guys out, making us play, working quick. It's fun to play behind him. Hopefully, he can keep it up."

Orioles starters have gravitated to Cashner, and Showalter likes that.

"I just think it's kind of my personality," Cashner said. "I definitely would say I have an edge to me. I just like to compete, and I feel like if I can elevate other people's game around me, it's just going to make us better as a team."

Working with young starters Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman has taught Cashner as much as it's taught them.

"I think as a group, as a whole, I think they're helping me just as much as I'm helping them," Cashner said. "I think it's just getting to know everybody. It's all in the same goal -- to win. We continually watch each other's bullpens and tell each other what we see and try to translate it into the game to work on things."

Showalter said that last year, the team's starting staff needed a boost, and Cashner can add that.

"I think what wore on us more than anything last year was the constant, 'Is this going to be enough? What are we getting?'" Showalter said. "This guy will keep us engaged in games. ... He'll have some challenges. It won't be from lack of purpose and effort. He's not afraid of the competition. He's got a lot of ways to get people out."

Rich Dubroff is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Orioles on Friday.

Baltimore Orioles, Andrew Cashner