BALTIMORE -- This was not the debut Andrew Cashner had planned for at Camden Yards.Cashner, one of three pitchers signed by the Orioles this spring, tied a career high with three homers allowed and exited after five innings in Saturday's 6-2 loss to the Twins. But Cashner was far from
BALTIMORE -- This was not the debut Andrew Cashner had planned for at Camden Yards.
Cashner, one of three pitchers signed by the Orioles this spring, tied a career high with three homers allowed and exited after five innings in Saturday's 6-2 loss to the Twins. But Cashner was far from the only one off his game, as the Orioles were held to just three hits in the frustrating series-evening defeat.
"My sinker was kind of flat. I think I needed to do a better job of getting on top of it. It's not a great start, but there's a lot to build off it," said Cashner, who was outdueled by Twins starter Kyle Gibson's six no-hit innings. "I've just got to pitch better for us to be where we need to be."
Cashner, signed in part because of his experience in the American League and his favorable ground-ball rate, had trouble keeping the ball down. The righty, who ranked second in the AL last year in allowing only 0.89 home runs per 9 innings, surrendered homers to Miguel Sano, Jason Castro and Max Kepler. Signed to a two-year, $16 million deal with Baltimore in February, Cashner was charged with five runs (four earned) over five innings.
"As the season goes on, guys will reach for their track records, especially a guy like Cash. I kind of dwell on how good their guy pitched, but I know that's the focus tonight," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
"I don't dwell on it a whole lot. He feels good, he had a good spring. A little late start, but I think he's only going to get better and better."
Meanwhile, Gibson cruised. The righty held the O's hitless over his six frames, and Baltimore didn't do much better against the Twins' bullpen initially. Jonathan Schoop's two-out eighth-inning single, which came in Thomas Pressly's second inning of work, was the Orioles' first hit of the night. Timothy Beckham put the Orioles on the scoreboard with a two-run homer off Gabriel Nova in the ninth.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rosario the juggler: With two men on in the sixth, Eddie Rosario robbed Orioles left fielder Trey Mancini of what would have been the Orioles' first hit. Rosario made a sliding grab to snare the sinking liner, which popped out of his glove. But he deftly grabbed it in-air with his bare hand, preserving Gibson's hitless outing with his dramatic circus grab.
"He was locating all his pitches, mixing his pitches real well. His curveball looked good. We saw him last year. We knew before the game he kind of changed his repertoire a bit. It showed," Mancini said of Gibson. "He looked really good out there, and obviously did a great job."
Schoop's single: Just four outs shy of what would have been the Twins' first combined no-hitter, the Orioles' second baseman sent a ball into center field for a clean single. The hit put two men aboard for Baltimore, but the momentum was quickly quashed, as Pressly struck out Adam Jones.
"We don't let it get to us," Schoop said of the no-hitter threat in the eighth. "You've got to play 27 outs and play hard all the time. Regardless of what happens, you've got to do your best."
"He made a change in his approach a little bit, some things that he did when he went down last year and came back. It really helped him in the second half, and he carried it over to the spring. Changeup, sharp breaking ball, some ride on the fastball. He had all three pitches there, and he kind of changed the tilt a little on his breaking ball now and then. He had everything working. He had all the pitches in the hitter's mind, so you had to honor all of them." -- Showalter, on Gibson
Orioles Rule 5 picks Nestor Cortes Jr. and Pedro Araujo made their respective big league debuts following Cashner. Cortes, the Orioles' No. 25 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, entered in the top of the sixth inning, worked out of a bases-loaded jam and went on to allow one run over two innings of work.
Araujo, the Orioles' No. 27 prospect, tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning. He spent most of last year in Class A with the Cubs.
Kevin Gausman will look to carry over a fantastic second half of the 2017 season in the series finale against the Twins. The righty started slow in 2017, but improved and posted a 4.68 ERA in a career-high 34 starts. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. ET.
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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.