BRADENTON, Fla. - The Pride of Pigtown put the Orioles on the scoreboard today at McKechnie Field.
Steve Clevenger, fighting Johnny Monell for the backup catching job, lined a home run over the right field fence leading off the top of the second to reduce Pittsburgh’s lead to 2-1.
Clevenger is 5-for-13 with one home run and five RBIs this spring. Monell is 4-for-11 with one home run and five RBIs.
Defense will be the deciding factor. Showalter has stated that the club is aware of Monell’s ability at the plate. He just needs to prove that he can handle the workload behind it.
Chris Tillman allowed one ball out of the infield in the first inning and was charged with two runs and three hits. He also hit a batter.
Two of the three hits were infield singles.
The Pirates loaded the bases with no outs, and a run scored on an infield hit by former Orioles outfielder Chris Dickerson. Travis Snider struck out looking, but a second run scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by former Orioles first baseman Travis Ishikawa.
Tillman struck out Josh Harrison to end the inning. He threw 26 pitches, 17 for strikes.
The only hard-hit ball came off the bat of Russell Martin.
Tillman retired the first two batters in the second, but Michael Martinez walked and Martin homered off the boardwalk in right-center field.
Tillman has thrown 43 pitches, 28 for strikes in two innings. He’s allowed four runs and five hits, with two strikeouts and a hit batter.
Update: Clevenger singled with two outs in the fourth and Steve Pearce homered to center field, the ball slamming off the batters eye to cut Pittsburgh’s lead to 4-3.
Tillman came back out for the bottom of the fourth while T.J. McFarland warmed in the bullpen. Josh Harrison singled with the count full and Chris McGuiness flied to left.
Tillman threw 63 pitches, 41 for strikes, in 3 1/3 innings. He was charged with five runs after Clint Barmes singled off McFarland to score Harrison. Tillman gave up six hits, walked none, struck out four and hit a batter.