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Gallardo not only gives Orioles established arm, but ability to come through in a 'pinch'

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo (49) is surrounded by teammates after hitting a pinch hit double in the 10th inning to drive in the winning run as the Brewers beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-6 at Miller Park.
Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo (49) is surrounded by teammates after hitting a pinch hit double in the 10th inning to drive in the winning run as the Brewers beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-6 at Miller Park. (Benny Sieu / USA Today Sports)

SARASOTA, Fla. -- New Orioles pitcher Yovani Gallardo won't see very many opportunities at the plate this year pitching in the American League, but he is one of the game's best hitting pitchers.

But knowing that Orioles manager Buck Showalter utilizes every player on his roster, could he use Gallardo as a hitter in a pinch?

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"He's going to go out there and try to do everything to win his game, especially if we play against the National League," said Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, who pitched against Gallardo in Triple-A and in the NL. "They better be careful because he can make his own runs."

Gallardo, whose 12 career homers are the most by an active pitcher, spent most of his career in the National League pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers.

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During his All-Star season of 2010, Gallardo hit four homers, had 10 RBIs and hit .254/.329/.508, going 16-for-63 at the plate. That year, he averaged one homer every 15.85 at bats.

On April 29, 2009, Gallardo threw eight innings of shutout ball for the Brewers – allowing just two hits while striking out 11 and walking one – and also homered to score the game's only run in a 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Orioles already know first-hand how good a hitter Gallardo is.  Manager Buck Showalter said he can't forget the pinch-hit double that Gallardo hit against the Orioles in the bottom of the 10th inning off T.J. McFarland, giving the Brewers a 7-6 win over the O's on May 27, 2014.

With two outs in the 10th and the bases empty, Showalter decided to intentionally walk former Oriole Mark Reynolds – who had homered earlier in the game – to bring up the pitcher's spot in the order.  Gallardo then pinch hit for reliever Francisco Rodriguez in the pitcher's spot and hit a game-winning double into the left-center field gap.

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"Not that I remember it," Showalter deadpanned. "I did know they were going to use him, I was just hoping we could get the other pitcher out as opposed to the left fielder."

eencina@baltsun.com
twitter.com/EddieInTheYard

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