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Cashner impresses with 4 scoreless in debut

Veteran right-hander signed two-year contract with Orioles on Feb. 15
Special to MLB.com

SARASOTA, Fla. -- After three simulated games, Andrew Cashner made his first Grapefruit League start for the Orioles, and it was a good one.

Cashner became the first Orioles starter this spring to complete four innings, and he allowed just one hit over four scoreless innings. The 31-year-old right-hander, who signed a two-year contract worth $16 million with the O's on Feb. 15, walked three and struck out two in the 4-0 win over the Phillies on Sunday night.

SARASOTA, Fla. -- After three simulated games, Andrew Cashner made his first Grapefruit League start for the Orioles, and it was a good one.

Cashner became the first Orioles starter this spring to complete four innings, and he allowed just one hit over four scoreless innings. The 31-year-old right-hander, who signed a two-year contract worth $16 million with the O's on Feb. 15, walked three and struck out two in the 4-0 win over the Phillies on Sunday night.

Six of Cashner's 12 outs came on ground balls.

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"I think part of my game plan is pitch up with my fastball," Cashner said. "High sinkers are really hard to hit. Keeping the ball down, getting my strikes early, and then trying to finish them up late is definitely my game plan."

While his line indicated he was effective, Cashner said that wasn't the most important part of his outing.

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"I think, for me, it's more about pitch execution than results," Cashner said. "I mean, the results are always nice. I'm more interested in what I'm executing and when I'm not.

"There are some things I need to work on, but overall, anytime you have zeros, you can never be mad."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter liked what he saw from Cashner.

"That was about as good as you could have hoped," Showalter said. "He got to use all his pitches, saw a good lineup."

Cashner was the only major addition to the Orioles' rotation since the end of last season, and he hopes to solidify a starting rotation that produced disappointing results in 2017. The veteran starter made his Grapefruit League debut while working with starting catcher Caleb Joseph and the O's starting infield, with Trey Mancini filling in at first base for an injured Chris Davis.

"I hadn't thrown anything to [Joseph] yet," Cashner said. "Great receiver, we talked about the game plan before the game. I tried some things I probably won't do during the season."

Video: PHI@BAL: Cashner on his strong outing in first start

Cashner walked Carlos Santana to start the second, and when Aaron Altherr hit a slicing ball to right field, he expected the worst. But Craig Gentry made a fine sliding catch and then threw to first to double Santana off first.

"That was a big play. I thought that ball was out when he hit it," Cashner said. "It was a mistake by me. Fortunately, it stayed up, middle away, put a good swing on it. That's a speedy outfielder, so that's nice to have."

Video: PHI@BAL: Gentry slides to start beautiful double play

Showalter praised Cashner's directness on the mound.

"Here it is, let's go. Let's go ahead and compete and see where it takes us," Showalter said. "That's why he's been attractive through the years, because he just keeps coming at you. You can see today, he's a lot more than a thrower."

Showalter said that Cashner won't throw any more simulated games, but he could pitch in a Minor League game if his turn in the rotation coincides with a game against an American League East opponent.

Cashner's next start is scheduled for Friday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., against the Mets, and for him, all starts are created equal.

"I'm always amped up," Cashner said. "I love this."

Rich Dubroff is a contributor to MLB.com.

Baltimore Orioles, Andrew Cashner