ORIOLES QUICK WRAP
Score: Orioles 7, Pirates 7 (10)
Recap: The Pirates scored four runs off Steve Johnson in the sixth to erase the Orioles’ 3-1 lead, but Ryan Flaherty hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the inning and Delmon Young broke the tie with an RBI single in the seventh. Zach Britton gave up the tying run in the eighth, with Jonathan Schoop committing an error. Britton walked off the mound with head athletic trainer Richie Bancells after striking out Starling Marte, but he seemed to be fine physically. Andrew McCutchen and Schoop each homered in the ninth, and the game ended in a tie. Kevin Gausman surrendered a leadoff home run to Marte, but otherwise was solid with one run allowed and eight strikeouts in four innings. Nick Markakis hit his first spring home run and Chris Davis delivered his fourth while also raising his team-leading RBI total to 12. Tommy Hunter tossed a scoreless fifth, allowing a bloop single and striking out one.
Need to know: Flaherty isn’t a lock to make the team, start at second base, start at third or serve in a utility role. It’s situation unknown. But he has five doubles, two homers and six RBIs in 16 spring games. He doubled and homered today and was 13-for-42 after tying the game.
On deck: Monday, home vs. Red Sox, 1:05 p.m. MASN HD
SARASOTA, Fla. - Steve Johnson gave up four runs in the sixth inning today, as the Pirates took a 5-3 lead at Ed Smith Stadium.
A light rain started to fall as the Pirates sent eight batters to the plate. They loaded the bases with no outs on a hit batter, single and walk. Tony Sanchez had an RBI single, Jordy Mercer delivered a two-run double and pitcher Gerrit Cole lifted a sacrifice fly.
Ryan Flaherty tied the game 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run shot to center field that followed a J.J. Hardy walk. Flaherty also doubled today and is 13-for-42 with five doubles, two homers and six RBIs this spring.
Kevin Gausman said he got a little “herky jerky” after warming up for today’s game, but he managed to hold the Pirates to one run and three hits, with eight strikeouts, over four innings.
“It kind of showed on some of my fastballs,” he said. “I was kind of pulling and just tried to focus in, the double to (Andrew) McCutchen, and then I had to limit the damage there.”
He did, stranding runners on second and third.
“It’s not going to be perfect always in the season,” he said. “It’s good to get in those situations now so that when it comes this spring or this summer that I have that experience in those situations.”
Gausman has enjoyed camp more this spring than 2013, feeling a part of the team.
“It’s been fun. It’s been awesome,” he said. “It’s been a little different than last year. I kind of feel like this was really my first spring training. Last year, I just kind of felt like... every single day I came to the park, I was like, ‘This is probably the day I’ll go down,’ and then, staying around a little bit longer than I thought, and I was pitching well last year. This year more than anything, I came into camp wanting to be in great shape - put on some weight in the offseason and just wanted to hit the ground running.
“I think more than anything, it’s just being comfortable, comfortable in the clubhouse now. I feel like I have friends on the team. I didn’t know anyone going into spring training. They didn’t know anything about me. I didn’t know anything about them, so there was just trying to get to know each other. I go golfing with the guys, things like that. I think it makes it a lot easier to come to the ballpark every day.”
Gausman also has fresh eyes on him from pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti.
“They haven’t seen me in person until this spring,” he said. “It’s kind of big when you have a new pitching coach and a new bullpen coach. Everything kind of starts over. Things that happened last year, they do matter, but not very much in their eyes.”
So what’s next for Gausman, who’s allowed three runs and seven hits in 11 Grapefruit League innings, with four walks and 13 strikeouts? Does he make the club or do the Orioles option him to Triple-A Norfolk?
“I don’t know,” he said. “They’ll figure that out.”
Update: Nolan Reimold singled with one out in the seventh, stole second and scored on Delmon Young’s single.
Young has seven hits in his last 13 at-bats.
Manager Buck Showalter is clearing his bench and Zach Britton is working the eighth.
Update II: Britton walked off the mound with head athletic trainer Richie Bancells after striking out Starling Marte for the second out. He appears to be fine. Bancells leaned against the railing as Oliver Drake recorded the last out, and Britton jogged to the bullpen.
The Pirates tied the game with a run in the eight. Jonathan Schoop had a costly error, but he made a nice play ranging far to his left to retire Jordy Mercer as the tying run scored.