Baltimore Orioles: Did Gabriel Ynoa earn the fifth starter role last night?

Gabriel Ynoa pitched five drama-free innings last night for the Baltimore Orioles. Ynoa’s line: 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K. In the quest for a fifth starter, my personal opinion is that the Birds found one last night. They of course acquired Ynoa in a trade with the NY Mets this past off season.

Mind you, that’s just my personal opinion. Ynoa and Gausman are the only Oriole starters to make it through five innings this spring. Manager Buck Showalter seemed to feel that Ynoa’s outing was a success as well (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

He presented himself well. That was close to a normal night. A little wind blowing out. Not much. Mostly early. In the shadows the first couple of innings. A lot of things you keep in mind.

J.J. Hardy put the Orioles on the board in the last of the second with his first home run of the spring, a solo shot. Jonathan Schoop followed suit two innings later with his second of the spring, also a solo home run. The Orioles were off to the races, and they never trailed in this game.

Minnesota did briefly cut the lead in half on a solo homer by Field in the sixth, but Chris Davis had something to say about that in the bottom of the inning. He smacked a two-run home run, and the O’s opened the game up with a 4-1 lead. Later in the inning they were also able to net another run on a pass ball to run the tally to 5-1, and then 6-1 an inning later when Trumbo reached on an error.

Minnesota would get two back on a late two-run homer in the ninth, but the Birds closed things out with a 6-3 win before the home folks in Sarasota. As if there weren’t enough during the game, the fans at Ed Smith Stadium were treated to a fireworks night after the game. Fitting if you think about it!

But the story of the game was Gabriel Ynoa, and how solid he looked. I feel that it’s telling that previously he had only gone two plus innings in a game, and last night he went through five. If in fact the Orioles break camp with five starters (which they don’t have to do), I suspect that fifth starter would be Ynoa. Having said that, they wouldn’t need a fifth starter until about midway through April. So there’s that also.

The Orioles will head over to Dunedin this afternoon for a game with the Toronto Blue Jays. Jayson Aquino (another fifth starter candidate) will get the start today, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Francisco Liriano. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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