Gonzalez with successful debut, Tillman talks about outing (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Making his first appearance of the spring today, Miguel Gonzalez tossed two scoreless innings while facing only six batters.

Gonzalez struck out the first two batters on a total of six pitches. Cesar Hernandez walked with two outs, but he was thrown out trying to steal.

Gonzalez made short work of the Phillies in the fifth inning, getting a bouncer in front of the mound, a ground ball to first and a fly ball to right. Pretty routine.

Chris Tillman told reporters that he felt “much better” today compared to his first outing against the Boston Red Sox, when he lasted 1 2/3 innings.

“My stuff was better,” he said. “My fastball command was a little better. Off-speed stuff still lagging behind a little bit, but it will come.

“My timing was better. A little more comfortable with all my pitches. First time out, I felt really awkward. I felt much better this time, so I’m real happy about that.

“I would have liked to finish that on a better note, but I felt like I got better as I went. Even my off-speed kind of came along there toward the end. I definitely come out of this with a positive mindset. I took some steps forward today.”

Tillman said the cold weather didn’t bother him, adding, “It’s cold for both teams.”

The two-run homer by Michael Young in the third appeared to be wind-aided.

“I don’t know,” Tillman said. “I made a bad pitch either way. I guess I deserved it, but fortunately, I finished a little bit better down in the zone.

“I think the wind’s blowing for both teams.”

Matt Wieters has a three-run homer and two-run double today. Conor Jackson has homered twice and driven in four runs.

Orioles 9, Phillies 2.

Wieters’ double and Jackson’s second homer came back-to-back in the fifth. Jackson launched another ball over the picnic area in left field.

Manager Buck Showalter was talking him up after yesterday’s game in Port Charlotte. My guess is he will have lots more to say about Jackson today.

Update: We have a laser show at Ed Smith Stadium.

Jason Pridie hit his second spring homer, a two-run shot in the fifth inning to increase the Orioles’ lead to 11-2.

J.J. Hardy walked before Pridie unloaded, the ball carrying over the fence in right-center field for the Orioles’ fourth homer today.

Pedro Strop is pitching in the top of the sixth inning. This will be his last appearance with the Orioles before he joins the Dominican Republic for the World Baseball Classic.

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