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Orioles lefty John Means bounces back with strong fill-in start against Yankees

Left-handed pitching prospect John Means was right in the middle of the strange, 10-run inning that erupted during the Orioles’ storm-suspended loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, so he was looking to change the subject when he took the mound against the New York Yankees on Friday night.

He was filling in for veteran Nathan Karns, who had been scratched from the starting assignment with arm soreness, so he was getting a second chance to make a good first impression.

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He didn’t waste it.

Trey Mancini and Mychal Givens have less than six years of major league service between them, yet they must now serve as veterans during the Orioles' rebuild.

Means, 25, pitched two scoreless innings at the front of a parade of effective Orioles pitchers, but the game ended in a 2-2 tie when the Yankees scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth. Still, it was a positive night all-around for the young pitching staff.

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“I felt well,’’ Means said. “I felt like my stuff was doing what it was supposed to do. I felt in control. I was pounding the zone. Got good results.”

He said that his rocky debut, which temporarily put an 81.00 ERA next to his name on the Orioles spring stat sheet, was just “unfortunate.”

“Honestly, I felt [good] that outing, too, but the box score didn’t really show it,” Means said. “I felt in control both times. It was just kind of an unfortunate outing last time and just kind of spun out of control. I felt good this outing, too, and got good results.”

Means probably will be working out the bullpen his next time out and was happy to have a positive outing to carry forward.

“They haven’t told me anything, but I know I’ll be pitching here in a few days again,’’ he said. “I don’t know if I’ll be starting or what, but the next few days are planned out.”

Means, who made his major league debut late last September, has been in the Orioles organization since he was drafted in 2014.

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