SARASOTA, Fla. – If Pedro Alvarez passes his physical, he’ll join the Orioles lineup. His debut will be several more days after his signing is made official.
By the time Alvarez joins the Orioles, they hope to finally have won some games.
Without Alvarez, the Orioles have yet to win a game, and on Tuesday dropped their eighth straight. They’re 0-8-1, and are the only team in the major leagues without a win during spring training.
Miguel Gonzalez, who pitched decently during his outing, is looking forward to having Alvarez join the lineup, which has produced just 30 runs in nine games.
“We will make him feel welcome. It’s going to be a good thing,” Gonzalez said.
The Orioles’ 5-1 loss before 7,894 at Ed Smith Stadium had some offense. The team had 12 hits, but left 13 runners on.
J.J. Hardy’s triple and Joey Rickard’s infield out gave the Orioles their only run in the fourth.
“Rickard had a good professional at-bat with the infield back. It’s good to see,” Showalter said.
The addition of Alvarez seemingly increases Rickard’s chances to make the club. He plays all the outfield positions, could be used as a late-inning defense replacement and can pinch run.
“He throws the ball to the right base, hits the cutoff man,” Showalter said. “Nobody can see for sure it’s going to continue in the big leagues if we kept him and he made the club.”
Last Thursday Gonzalez allowed seven runs on eight hits in 1 1/3 innings against Tampa Bay. “They didn’t even let me breathe out there,” Gonzalez said then.
His second start was a much better one. Gonzalez allowed one run on three hits in 2 2/3 innings.
“Kept the ball down. We did what we had to do, got my work in. That’s what matters,” Gonzalez said.
He allowed a home run to Boston’s Brock Holt, his second batter, was happier.
“Of course, mentally when things are not going well, you just put yourself down. You just got to get up and put your head down and work hard,” Gonzalez said.
Manager Buck Showalter was pleased with Gonzalez.
“His stuff was better, a little crisper, getting there. I know he felt a little better. Velocity was a little better. Kind of what you expect,” Showalter said. “You see progress.”
The Red Sox started Christian Vazquez behind the plate. It was Vazquez’s first game since he underwent Tommy John surgery nearly a year ago.
The Orioles started Matt Wieters, who was recovering from that surgery a year ago. Showalter doesn’t think about that now.
“You can tell it’s about baseball now. It’s not about how he feels. There’s no tentativeness,” Showalter said.
He hasn’t decided how many games he’d like Wieters to catch, but he has an accomplished backup this year in Caleb Joseph.
“We’re fortunate to have someone like Caleb who’s done well. The pitchers are very lucky where the guys don’t really care between those two who’s catching,” Showalter said.
Rookie pitcher Chris Lee was removed from the game after pitching to three batters in the fifth inning because he wasn’t wearing his protective goggles.
“He somehow got to the mound without them, and I wasn’t going to take a chance,” Showalter said. “He’s not going to pitch for the Orioles without them.”
Showalter noticed that Lee was without the goggles when he was pitching to his second hitter.
“I wished I had taken him out right away when I noticed it. I let him go another hitter,” Showalter said.
NOTES: Yovani Gallardo, who signed after spring training was already underway, will start for the first time on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater. Jeremy Hellickson pitches for the Philllies. … Hyun Soo Kim, Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo are scheduled to make the trip. … The Orioles recorded their second sellout. … The Orioles agreed on one-year contracts with all 21 of their 40-man roster players not eligible for arbitration. Pitchers Parker Bridwell, Odrisamer Despaigne, Oliver Drake, Jason Garcia, Kevin Gausman, Mychal Givens, Chris Jones, Chris Lee, T.J. McFarland, Chaz Roe, Andrew Triggs, Tyler Wilson and Mike Wright. Catchers Caleb Joseph and Francisco Pena, infielders Jimmy Paredes, Jonathan Schoop and Christian Walker and outfielders Dariel Alvarez, Joey Rickard and Henry Urrutia.