Alex Cobb's exhibition debut was short, not sweet in Orioles' 10-5 loss to Rays; O's tie Yankees

SARASOTA, FLA. — Right-hander Alex Cobb had to acknowledge he was surprised to see manager Brandon Hyde coming to get him with two outs in the first inning of his 2019 exhibition debut.

Maybe he shouldn’t have been after allowing four quick runs Friday in the Orioles’ 10-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Ed Smith Stadium. Cobb got the rest of his work done in the bullpen afterward and tried to take something positive out of the overall effort.


“I think he was trying to protect what was going on out there for me,’’ Cobb said. “Obviously, [it] unraveled a little bit. I was expecting to stay out there and get an up-down. I don’t know the conversation they had afterward. I went down to the bullpen and finished up.

Veteran catcher Jesus Sucre has a locker set up in the clubhouse and manager Brandon Hyde said he should be in camp later today.

“The plan was to go two obviously, but the outing wasn’t going to plan, so I guess they called an audible on it.”


That’s exactly what happened.

"I just didn't want to extend him,'' Hyde said. "We just finished him up in the bullpen. I just didn't want to stretch it any further than it went."

Cobb walked leadoff batter Austin Meadows and gave up back-to-back singles to Daniel Robertson and Ji-Man Choi to bring around the first run of the game. He got a pop out and allowed a second run on a force play before Guillermo Heredia hit a long two-home run into the picnic area behind left field.

Still, Cobb didn’t agree with the suggestion that he was having command problems.


“I don’t,” he said. “It felt like some of those balls were over the plate. That first batter and I got a little jam job into right field and before I know it, I’ve got runners on first and second. Then got a couple ground balls I was trying to get and they found holes. Then, obviously, the two-run home run was the big blow.”

The wind was blowing out hard toward left field, but Cobb said Heredia put a good swing on the ball.

“That’s just part of being an Orioles pitcher, I think,’’ he said. “It gets you ready for Camden Yards. You’re trying to get the ball on the ground. If you get it in the air, it’s a no-doubter. He hit that one well, too. It probably just went a little bit further than it would have gone.”

Dylan Bundy made his 2019 exhibition debut for the Orioles on Thursday. He's hoping for a more complete performance this season and feels fastball command needs to be better to get there.

It was a tough inning, but Cobb said it didn’t change the fact that he’s having a positive spring so far.

“My bullpen [warmup] before this game, it felt so good. I could do whatever I wanted to do with the ball,” he said. “It didn’t translate out on the mound, which is frustrating because you want to see it in the game and show up against competition. But I have so many positives that I’ve been doing, I think the goal is to not let the stat line ruin the momentum you’ve got this early in spring.”

Draw with Yankees

Left-hander John Means got a second chance to make a good first impression Friday night in Tampa. Coming off a rocky spring debut, he pitched two scoreless innings as the starter against the New York Yankees in a 2-2 tie at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Catcher Andrew Susac and outfielder Austin Hays each hit solo home runs and the Orioles took a 2-0 lead into the ninth. But the Yankees rallied to tie the game.

Six Orioles pitchers combined to hold a Yankees lineup that included several starters to no runs and four hits through eight innings.

Sisco homers again

Catcher Chance Sisco continues to tear up the Grapefruit League. He got the Orioles on the scoreboard in the second inning against the Rays with his fourth home run of the exhibition season.

He entered the game tied for the major league lead in homers and tied for third with eight RBIs.

Harvey’s fifth

Top pitching prospect Hunter Harvey pitched a strong fifth inning against the Rays in his second appearance of the spring. He allowed a home run his first time out, but struck out two this time and allowed only a walk.

Longtime Orioles radio voice Joe Angel won't return for the 2019 season, the team announced Thursday, ending his 19-year run on the Orioles Radio Network and causing a shakeup on the team's broadcast.

Harvey threw 21 pitches, 13 of them for strikes, and his fastball velocity topped out at 97 mph.

“He looked a little bit more relaxed this time than last time,’’ Hyde said. “I thought he was pitching a little bit more. Threw a couple really good sliders, so a great outing by Hunter."

Rogers perfect for two

Left-hander Josh Rogers, who came over from the Yankees in the Zack Britton trade, made his third appearance of the spring and retired all six batters he faced in the sixth and seventh innings of the first game. He has yet to give up a run in five innings of work.

"I'll tell you what, if you go to get a drink with Josh Rogers on the mound, you better have your head up and your eyes on the field,’’ Hyde said. “Because you're going to miss about 10 pitches. The tempo is unbelievable. He gets the ball, gets on the rubber and goes. Probably has had the quickest innings of anybody this spring."

Around the horn

Outfielder DJ Stewart had a pair of doubles in three at-bats. Outfielder Eric Young Jr. contributed an RBI single, a double and a walk in three trips against Tampa Bay. … Reliever Mychal Givens gave up a run on two hits and struck out two in a brief first appearance of the spring in the third inning of the first game. He retired only two batters. … Infielder Richie Martin had two more hits against the Rays, including an RBI double, and is now 5-for-10 with three RBIs. … Right-hander Luis Ortiz, who came over from the Milwaukee Brewers in the Jonathan Schoop trade, had another tough outing in the early game, allowing four runs over the final two innings. He has given up six runs in four innings.

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