SARASOTA, Fla. — Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez learned on Saturday night that he would be getting the start against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday afternoon because Chris Tillman is dealing with abdomen soreness.
It was no big deal for Gonzalez, who made 15 starts for the Orioles last year and is expected to be in the rotation to begin this season.
Gonzalez said everything went well in the bullpen, but his control abandoned him once he took the mound in a 5-2 Orioles loss to the Pirates.
"I felt great in the 'pen. Just one of those days," he said. "Things weren't working when I went on the field. Off-speed wasn't there, my fastball was up."
He gave up four runs in the second – only one was earned – on four hits and two runs. After left fielder Nate McLouth failed to catch a wind-aided one-out fly ball by Brad Hawpe, Gonzalez's performance worsened. He allowed hits to four of the next five batters and escaped the inning only when Jose Tabata was thrown out trying to advance to second base after a single.
The Orioles couldn't get much offense going against Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole, the former No. 1 overall pick in 2011. He lasted four innings and gave up just two hits, including a two-run homer by Ryan Flaherty.
It was Flaherty's second homer of the spring.
The Orioles dropped 10-3-1 in Grapefruit League play.