The Orioles were back in Sarasota on Thursday afternoon and they stayed in the win column. Facing a Pirates team that had several former Orioles appearing, they nonetheless overcame that handicap to win the game by a 6-4 score.
Chris Tillman started the game for the O's and turned in a nice tune-up outing, striking out five batters over four innings of work. He gave up a run on four hits and didn't walk anyone. Well, that works.
It was the O's who scored first, scratching out a run in the bottom of the first. Manny Machado led off the inning by reaching on a single. He then stole second and advanced on a groundout, scoring easily on a base hit off the bat of Adam Jones.
The O's got another run in the third, helped by former Oriole Steve Lombardozzi, who committed an error on a Chris Davis grounder that allowed Travis Snider to score from second base. At this point, the Orioles were ahead 2-1. Other former Orioles who appeared were Pedro Florimon and Radhamez Liz. Seriously. Liz started the game. I figured he'd be hanging out somewhere with Daniel Cabrera.
Later on, they kept scoring, helped by some home runs. Both Ryan Flaherty and Jones hit solo home runs in the fifth inning. Jones' home run was especially impressive to the O's beat writers who pulled out their best "he hit that ball a long way" jokes for the occasion. Since the game wasn't televised at all, of course there's no way for us to see for ourselves.
That the Orioles kept scoring was a good thing as the three pitchers who followed Tillman all allowed a run each. The Pirates scored a run off of each of Tommy Hunter and Darren O'Day in one inning of work. Hunter had some bad luck: The day's left fielder, Jimmy Paredes, played a routine fly ball from Gorkys Hernandez into a triple because errors are capriciously awarded.
No doubt about the run charged to O'Day, though. He gave up a solo home run to the first batter he saw, Corey Hart. Another run scored in the first of two innings worked by Brad Brach, this time with a single coming before a triple. I don't know whether anyone did anything out of the ordinary to cause that triple.
At this point, through the seventh inning stretch, the game was tied 4-4 and the teams were on the way to kissing their sisters. The Orioles reserves were not in the mood for all of that. Henry Urrutia led off the eighth inning with a home run off of the excellently-named Stolmy Pimentel. Jayson Nix singled, stole second, then scored on a double off the bat of Ryan Lavarnway to give the O's the 6-4 lead that proved to be the final score.
Mike Wright tossed a scoreless ninth, mixing in a walk as he struck out the side to close out the game. The Orioles record in the Grapefruit League is now 6-12, but remember, it doesn't count.
Next up for the Orioles is a road game against the Red Sox on Friday afternoon at 1:05. This game will not be on television or radio anywhere at all. Therefore, we must assume that it does not really exist.