SARASOTA, Fla. - Kevin Gregg gave up a single to the first batter he faced. Then he gave up a fly ball that put two more runs on the board for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Matt Hague followed Yamaico Navarro’s single with a bomb to left field, increasing the Pirates’ lead to 5-1.
Gregg bounced back to strike out the next three batters - Pedro Alvarez, Gorkys Hernandez and Garrett Jones - but he probably didn’t do much to win back the fans who lost patience with him last season.
At least Gregg was throwing strikes tonight, and we can’t judge anyone too harshly in the first exhibition game. But it’s important for Gregg to have a good spring after he lost the closer’s job last season.
I like the way he finished up. And he was in a different mindset tonight, entering a game in the third inning and pumping fastballs.
Matt Lindstrom has replaced Gregg in the top of the fourth.
The Orioles have three hits in three innings, by Adam Jones, Ryan Adams and Chris Davis. J.J. Hardy walked in the third inning.
Update: The Pirates scored three runs off Lindstrom, though only two were earned. The Orioles are down, 8-1, in the bottom of the fourth.
Alex Presley has three hits, including a triple off Lindstrom that scored Starling Marte with one out. Josh Harrison walked and Navarro reached on an infield hit that scored Presley.
Hague followed with a ground ball to Hardy that looked like a routine double play, but Hardy double-clutched before throwing to Andino for the force, and a poor relay allowed Harrison to score.