DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Miguel Gonzalez escaped a fourth-inning jam -- and several hard comebackers again -- to turn in a strong performance in the Orioles' 4-3 loss in 10 innings to the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon.
Gonzalez, making his fourth appearance of the spring and second since being knocked out of the game by a liner to his left shin, allowed just one run in four innings Sunday against a lineup filled with Blue Jays starters.
“I’m actually pretty happy about this outing,” said Gonzalez, who has now allowed four runs in 9 1/3 innings this spring. “The last inning was a little scary, balls coming back at me, but it was fun to be out there.”
Using a fierce wind blowing in from right field to his advantage, Gonzalez at one point retired 10 batters in a row.
“The results were good,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “But conditions dictated some of that, too. ... There were some balls hit that might have been a different result, but he also played the elements a little bit, too. You throw some pitches you wouldn’t normally throw because you are OK with fly balls to the outfield.”
The Orioles (10-6-1) took a 2-1 lead into the ninth, but reliever Ryan Webb allowed four consecutive hits to send the game into extra innings. Webb, who is in line for a setup job, pitched a perfect eighth before running into trouble in his second inning.
“We’re trying to give everybody that second inning, we’re at that point now,” Showalter said. “Probably during the season he wouldn’t have pitched that second inning.”
The Orioles took the lead back in the 10thwhen Cuban outfielder Dariel Alvarez homered to left field in just his third at-bat in major league camp. Steve Clevenger, who is battling for the backup catcher job, was 3-for-3 and is now 12-for-22 this spring. Adam Jones was 1-for-2 with a walk in his first game action in a week after being away from the team due to the birth of his son.
Toronto scored twice to win in the bottom of the 10thagainst reliever Kelvin De La Cruz on an RBI single followed by a groundout that plated speedy Jonathan Diaz from second base.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun