BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Orioles pitcher Bruce Zimmermann has said on multiple occasions that it’s hard to get to the big leagues and even harder to stay there.

Zimmermann is trying to earn a spot in the Orioles’ starting rotation in what could be his third year in the majors.

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He grew up in Ellicott City, played high school baseball at Loyola Blakefield High School, played college baseball at Towson University, and is an Orioles fan.

The lefty pitcher started against Tampa Bay in Sarasota, Florida, on Wednesday.

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He threw three innings with no earned runs allowed.

Zimmermann said that this year’s abbreviated spring training makes the exhibition games an even more intense proving ground for anyone fighting to make the roster.

And he faces a little extra pressure when pitching for his hometown team.

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“I try not to think about it,” he said. “I think it’s just an amazing experience to represent the city that I grew up in and, you know, went to high school around. My whole family has been since my grandparents’ generation and the one before. So, I think it’s just an honor to be able to do it.”

CBS Baltimore Staff