Hunter throws six scoreless

Orioles starter Tommy Hunter turned in a stellar second Grapefruit League start Monday night, holding the Pittsburgh Pirates to just one hit over six scoreless innings.

Hunter issued a leadoff walk to Alex Presley but erased it with a double play ball and proceeded to strike out Andrew McCutchen on three pitches. He cruised from there, retiring 9 of the next 10 batters –the lone except reaching on error – until Neil Walker broke through with a double that centerfielder Adam Jones appeared to have lost in the lights.

“I threw against these guys, two years ago maybe, 2010. So, [I] wasn’t too familiar with them,” said Hunter, who got into an early rhythm with catcher Matt Wieters. “I go, ‘Wiety I’m all you, all game’. We threw a couple back-to-back 0-0 changeup sand then [a] 1-0 changeup too. So, we worked on a couple things to that kind of made me smile out there on the mound. But, all in all, it felt good.

The 25-year-old Hunter, who was slowed earlier this spring with lower back discomfort, said in his previous outing that he needed to work on location, which was much improved in Monday’s outing. Of the 70 pitches he threw, 48 were strikes and his only walk was to Presley.

Asked if he felt like he  had caught up to the other starters this spring in terms of workload, Hunter  –who has also made several Minor League appearances – said he was right on track.

“l definitely [have] something to work on from here,” said Hunter, who allowed two runs over five innings on Wednesday, and finished up Monday’s outing with 15 additional fastball in the bullpen.  “It was definitely fun. This was baseball, going out for six innings and still having something left.”

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