FORT MYERS, FLA. — New Orioles manager Brandon Hyde is still getting to know just about everyone on his team’s expanded spring roster, but Saturday he was particularly interested in learning more about right-hander Mike Wright.
Wright had not given up a run in his first two exhibition appearances, but this time he was set to face much of star-studded Boston Red Sox lineup.
“Looking forward to watching him pitch today against a lot of their main guys, so it’s going to be a nice test for him today and hopefully he responds,’’ Hyde said.
Wright did just that. He became the first pitcher in camp to throw three innings and he delivered his third straight scoreless outing in the Orioles’ 9-1 victory at JetBlue Park.
He gave up just three hits — two of them of the infield variety — and now has strung together seven scoreless innings this spring.
“It was pretty good,’’ Wright said. “A couple of two-strike counts, I didn’t execute my pitches as well as I wanted to, but you can’t really argue with zeroes. I’ll take that every time.”
Facing the likes of Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogarts in the middle of the Sox lineup is about as close as a pitcher can come to replicating a regular-season start in the American League East, but Wright said it didn’t affect his intensity on the mound.
“I’m trying to make a spot on the team, so I think the intensity is there regardless of who steps up to the plate,’’ he said. “And honestly, there are a lot of guys behind me trying to make the team, too. Obviously you saw Richie [Martin], the way he was playing today, so if I didn’t bring the intensity like they’re bringing it, it wouldn’t be fair.”
Wright was hit on the foot by a comebacker in the foot but didn’t seem too concerned about it.
Hyde applauded Wright’s effort and just about everything else the Orioles did Saturday.
"I thought Mike was great,’’ he said. “He threw the ball really well. I thought all our pitchers threw the ball really well. We did a lot of really good things. Everybody threw the ball well. We ran the bases great. Loved the aggressiveness on the bases. Definitely our best day defensively. Lot of nice plays on the infield. Hit the first guy on all the cuts. Just a real sound day defensively overall."
Martin’s web gem
Martin wowed the big crowd at JetBlue Park with a full-extension diving stop to rob Bogaerts of a hit in the second inning. He popped up and made a strong one-hop throw to get the out.
“It was awesome,’’ Wright said. “Those kinds of plays … just guys who play with heart and play hard. Like I said, he’s trying to make a team. He’s playing with intensity. That gets me fired up.”
Left fielder Trey Mancini was removed from the game for pinch hitter DJ Stewart in the fourth inning because of what Hyde described as a sore pinkie finger. He's apparently day to day.
"His pinkie's a little bit sore and I'm not taking any chances," Hyde said, "so I just pulled him out the game to give him a breather, give him a couple days. I just want them all the way right."
Catcher Jesús Sucre was in camp Saturday and met with Hyde to work out a schedule to get him ready to enter the exhibition catching rotation.
He played winter ball, but last played in January, so he’ll need time to get into playing shape. The past week, he’s just been concentrating on getting his visa in order and getting to Florida from Venezuela.
“Saw him this morning,’’ Hyde said. “Great shape. He did play winter ball. I got to know him a little bit. Obviously, we’re going to ramp him up as he feels. Light workout today and then as we go along in the next few days, we’ll catch some sides, take some BP. But he hasn’t done anything for a handful of days, so we’re not going to rush him back anytime soon.”
Gregory Infante still in Miami
There was some confusion Saturday morning when a locker was created in the major league clubhouse for Gregory Infante. He has not arrived in camp yet. He arrived in Miami recently, but is still being evaluated after contracting a serious illness in his native Venezuela.
“As far as I know, he’s still in Miami and still getting treatment,’’ Hyde said. “I haven’t heard anything new on that except that he’s in the care of some U.S. doctors. I think we’re still doing tests on him to see how he’s responding [to treatment].”
» Stevie Wilkerson put the Orioles on the scoreboard for the first time in the second inning with a two-run single.
» Carlos Pérez and Stewart each contributed a two-run double.
» Ryan Mountcastle didn’t get his first at-bat until the sixth inning, but hit safely twice in three at-bats.
» Drew Jackson had three hits and an RBI.
» Jace Peterson had two hits and reached base in all three of his plate appearances.
» Eric Young Jr. also reached base three times on a hit and two walks.
» Martin stayed hot with an RBI single in the sixth.
Around the horn
Pitcher Andrew Cashner will make his exhibition debut Sunday against the Detroit Tigers at Ed Smith Stadium. He’ll face Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd. … The Orioles have had the lead at some point in seven of their nine Grapefruit League games so far.