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Orioles flex muscles early, crush three home runs in first inning of 13-5 win over Pirates

SARASOTA, FLA. — The Orioles wasted no time showing just how intimidating their lineup can be during Saturday’s 13-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Ed Smith Stadium.

Trey Mancini, Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop all crushed home runs in a span of four at-bats in the first inning off Pirates pitcher Chad Kuhl. The Orioles added seven runs in the third and two in the fourth to improve to 7-8-1 in Grapefruit League play.

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Adam Jones tried to join the party, hammering two long line drives to center field in his first two at-bats, but both were run down by Pirates center fielder Starling Marte. As baseball luck would have it, Jones didn’t get his first RBI until his second at-bat of the third inning, and it came on a two-run broken-bat blooper.

Without even stepping foot on the mound in a game, new Orioles starter Andrew Cashner has made his influence on the team's 2018 fortunes evident. Cashner makes his Grapefruit League debut for the club Sunday.

The 11 runs through three innings were enough to make Saturday’s game the Orioles’ biggest offensive extravaganza of the spring and they weren’t through. They had scored 10 runs in two previous games — both of them under more favorable weather conditions at the Ed Smith Stadium complex, one of which also came against the Pirates.

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It was a blustery Saturday with an occasional sprinkle of rain and the wind — at times — blowing in.

“We had a lot of good at-bats,” manager Buck Showalter said. “A lot of times, we come in here and talk an offensive-friendly spring training day. That was not, so that was good to see.”

Machado continues to hammer the ball this spring. He now has 12 hits in 25 at-bats (.480) with three home runs and a Grapefruit League-leading 14 RBIs.

Rule 5 outfielder Anthony Santander also continues to swing a hot bat. He had two hits and three RBIs, his two-run single bringing home the Orioles’ 12th and 13th runs in the fourth inning. He’s hitting .353 with 10 RBIs.

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Left-hander Jayson Aquino started the game in place of injured right-hander Garbriel Ynoa and pitched two innings, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out three.

“The first inning, I was kind of shaken a little bit trying to get all the pitches going,” he said through translator Ramón Martínez. “In the second inning, I went back and did much better.”

It was probably a little easier to relax after the Orioles put up those four runs in the first inning.

“It’s great to have support like that,” he said. “What you’ve got to do is keep putting zeros up and I tried to put the team in a good position.”

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