FORT MYERS, Fla. – Perhaps the most affable of all the Orioles, Miguel Gonzalez has everyone rooting for him. They hope that his third spring training start, like his first, was an aberration.
Gonzalez allowed 10 of his 14 baserunners to reach, and gave up six runs in the Orioles’ 14-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins before 8,596 at Hammond Stadium on Sunday.
In Gonzalez’s three starts, he’s given up 14 runs on 18 hits in 5 2/3 innings for an abysmal 22.24 ERA.
“Miguel’s not as crisp as he needs to be to be effective up here,” manager Buck Showalter said.
“He knows that. That’s what spring training’s about. I have a lot of confidence that he’ll pick it up as we go forward.”
Staked to a rare three-run lead by his team, which feel to 1-11-2, Gonzalez allowed two runs in the first and could have given up more had not right fielder Dariel Alvarez not gunned out Trevor Plouffe at third.
“You can just tell by body language by a lot of pitchers they don’t feel comfortable yet,” Showalter said.
“You’d like to see everybody be good every time out to have that feel good, but the reality is you ask them to go out and do something and work on something, and sometimes you don’t look as crisp as you’re going to be.”
Plouffe had a three-run home run in the second, and Gonzalez was yanked after Eddie Rosario tripled.
“I was just off a little bit. Flying open. I wasn’t consistent down, ahead. That’s important. Guys are being aggressive. I’ve just got to try not to do too much out there. I wouldn’t change anything,” Gonzalez said.
The Twins had seven hits, and Gonzalez walked three.
“We all know that this game is all about mental and momentum. As soon as I got the first guy out, I felt pretty good. Things are not going my way right now, and all I’ve got to do is just keep working hard and don’t get down, don’t get down. Keep my head up, and hopefully next time out, I’ll be all right,” Gonzalez said.
Late last year, Gonzalez had several rough outings and a trip to the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis, and acknowledged that he might be trying too hard.
“Sometimes you push yourself to be better, to impress people. We all know what we’re capable of doing. We all know that your teammates are going to be right there with you. It’s a matter of staying positive and staying accurate,” Gonzalez said.
Vance Worley was the only pitcher to merit kudos. He pitched two perfect innings.
Dylan Bundy allowed an unearned run in the fifth, and Hunter Harvey,gave up five runs in the sixth, and Jason Garcia gave up two runs in the seventh.
The Orioles walked 10.
“It’s frustrating to see our guys throw the ball so poorly command-wise. It’s something we can’t do,” Showalter said.
Christian Walker had two of the Orioles’ six hits including his second home run of the spring. Pedro Alvarez was 1-for-3 in his first game with the Orioles.
“I’m just very excited and happy to be out there today, getting the opportunity to play. When you can do something like that, it’s kind of puts icing on the cake a little bit, on top of things. I’m glad to get a couple of AB’s and a couple of reps out there today,” Alvarez said.
“I felt pretty good, surprisingly good for having a couple of weeks off.”
Showalter was happy about Alvarez’s first game.
“He was solid,” Showalter said. “He was happy to get out there…He had a lot of bounce to his step today.”
Alvarez had an uneventful day at first base, and was happy to hear that Showalter wasn’t going to restrict him to just being the designated hitter.
“That’s what I intend on doing as well. I came here with the intention of helping out in every facet and I know that means playing the field, too, and that’s what I want to do, too. Again, I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities I’m going to be given, and I’m thinking right along with Skip,” Alvarez said.
NOTES: The 14 runs allowed were a high for spring training and the fifth time the Orioles at least 10 runs in a game. … Andrew Triggs, who was plced on release waivers on Thursday when the Orioles signed Alvarez, was claimed by the Oakland Athletics. … Yovani Gallardo makes his second start with the Orioles on Monday against Philadelphia’s Alec Asher in Sarasota. Chris Tillman makes his first start on Tuesday against Toronto in Dunedin. Jesse Chavez pitches for the Blue Jays. On Wednesday, Kevin Gausman is matched against Pittsburgh’s Juan Nicasio. … Further cuts are expected Monday.
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