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Gabriel Ynoa Tries To Convince Orioles He's For Real With Strong Start

September 22, 2017
BALTIMORE -- When spring training began, there were five candidates for the Orioles' fifth starter: Right-handers Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright and Gabriel Ynoa, and left-handers Jayson Aquino and Chris Lee.
 
As the season winds down, only Wright and Ynoa are with the team, and only Ynoa, the 24-year-old right-hander, is getting an opportunity to start.
 
Ynoa delivered a strong outing Sept. 21, allowing just one run on five hits in a career-high eight innings as the Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-1, before 14,967 at Oriole Park.

The Orioles, who had been shut out in the previous two games, broke a 26-inning scoreless streak in the first. Third baseman Manny Machado, who sat out the previous game because of an illness, hit a two-run home run, his 33rd on the year, and left fielder Trey Mancini drove in a run with an RBI single.
 
After the Rays scored their run in the third, Ynoa pitched 5.1 hitless innings until Tampa Bay shortstop Daniel Robertson reached on a swinging bunt in the eighth.
 
Manager Buck Showalter has often said September performances are easy to misjudge.
 
"This is the thing that makes you go, 'OK, can he continue to do that?' As opposed to what? Tease us," Showalter said.
 
"That's a major league team. He's shown it a couple times. Usually it happens sometimes with hitters, they're a lot better in the big leagues than the minor leagues. Sometime the game plays better when guys are more aggressive or pitches around the plate more. That's the equation you have to figure out. He did his part, and he'll get the ball again. See if it continues against another team."
 
Ynoa, who was acquired from the New York Mets just before the start of spring training in February, knows this could be a real chance for him.
 
"Every game I take it as it's the last game of my career," Ynoa said through a translator. "So, I'm just trying to take advantage of these opportunities and show that I can help."
 
The Orioles are 74-80 and need to finish with seven wins in their final eight games to avoid their first losing season since 2011.
 
With right-handers Jeremy Hellickson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Chris Tillman, along with left-hander Wade Miley, likely free agents, there are going to be openings in the team's rotation next year.
 
While Aquino and Wilson are no longer on the 40-man roster, manager Buck Showalter said Wright could get another opportunity next season.
 
"Mike's going to be 28 years old next year without an option, so that's something we know," Showalter said. "Every team's need will always be a priority, starting, so there's always that potential that he could start. … Mike's an option for us in starting. So are three or four others."
 
NOTES: SS Tim Beckham was out for a second day after a wisdom tooth extraction. … OF Austin Hays was named the Orioles' minor league player of the year. … Double-A Bowie hitting coach Butch Davis was recognized for his outstanding teaching. … RHPs Ubaldo Jimenez (6-10, 6.57) and Alex Cobb (11-10, 3.63) are the scheduled starters for Sept. 22. … Showalter said he doesn't think the Orioles will add another pitcher to replace LHP Zach Britton, but could add another infielder. … Mancini has an 11-game hitting streak.

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox