ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Amid a cycle of desperation for innings, the Baltimore Orioles called up a string of right-handers who were older than the typical rookie. Mickey Jannis, 33, and Konner Wade, 29, couldn’t stick, with both getting designated for assignment shortly after their respective debuts.
But Spenser Watkins, 28, has continued to prove worthy of more opportunities. After a scoreless inning of relief in his first major league appearance, he has allowed exactly one earned run in three straight starts, the latest such performance covering the first six innings of Baltimore’s third consecutive victory, a 6-1 win at the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday.
Watkins is the only Orioles starter this season with three consecutive outings of no more than one earned run, with those coming in his first three major league starts.
The Orioles (31-62) gave him an early lead on Ryan Mountcastle’s double and Anthony Santander’s sacrifice fly in the first, then built on it in the sixth. Santander opened the inning with a 12-pitch walk, then came home along with Ramon Urias on Pat Valaika’s two-run single. Kelvin Gutierrez then brought home Valaika with a single and scored on Austin Hays’s double, his third hit out of the leadoff spot with all-star Cedric Mullins getting a night off.
Watkins allowed an RBI double to Randy Arozarena with two outs in the sixth but ended his night with his seventh strikeout, more than he recorded in his first two starts combined. Behind him, Cole Sulser, Paul Fry and Tyler Wells pitched a scoreless inning each.
— Baltimore Sun
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