FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Miguel Gonzalez struggled in his final tune-up before the regular season, but the Orioles still rallied to beat the Boston Red Sox, 5-4, in the Orioles’ split-squad day game.
Gonzalez, who said he will make his regular season debut April 4 in Detroit -- the Orioles’ fourth game of the season -- lasted five innings Wednesday, allowing four earned runs, seven hits, two walks, two homers and a hit batter. He struggled with his command on the windy, brisk day, throwing just 47 of his 79 pitches for strikes.
“My first inning was good, but I started struggling a little bit toward the end,” Gonzalez said. “But I made some good pitches when I needed to. It was a rough one out there.”
Gonzalez allowed consecutive homers in the fourth inning to Boston’s left side of the infield, Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks, before retiring six consecutive batters to complete his outing.
“The fastball was cutting a lot, I couldn’t really find it. Toward the end was a little better,” he said. “The last two innings were better, even though I gave up a couple home runs.”
In six spring appearances, Gonzalez has allowed eight runs in 20 1/3 innings (3.54 ERA) while giving up 24 hits, three walks and striking out 10. He is expected to stay in Florida for a workout day on Saturday before joining the team for Monday’s Opening Day.
“I’m ready, ready to go,” he said. “I’m excited for spring training to end and start the season.”
The Orioles (13-8-3) got on the board first with a second-inning home run by catcher Steve Clevenger, who continued his tremendous spring. He now has two homers, seven RBIs and has batted .457 (16-for-35) in 13 Grapefruit League games.
The Orioles scored twice in the third inning on a RBI double by Nick Markakis and a RBI single by Chris Davis. They took the lead for good in the fifth, thanks to Ryan Flaherty’s RBI double and Jemile Weeks’ go-ahead, RBI single.
Relievers T.J. McFarland, Ryan Webb. Steve Johnson and Evan Meek all pitched a scoreless inning. Meek struck out the side in the ninth for his third save.