SARASOTA, FLA. — In his second spring start, right-hander Miguel Gonzalez allowed two runs over three innings as the Orioles lost, 5-2, to the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday afternoon in front of an announced sellout crowd of 7,403, the team's fifth sellout in six home games at Ed Smith Stadium.
Gonzalez, one of six starting pitchers competing for five rotation spots this spring, allowed back-to-back singles to open the game to Jose Reyes and Ramon Santiago. After a fly out to right field moved Reyes to third, Justin Smoak hit a grounder that second baseman Everth Cabrera bobbled, allowing Reyes to score from third. Smoak was out at first base.
Santiago came around to score on Kevin Pillar's RBI double to give the Jays a 2-0 lead, but Gonzalez finished his outing retiring seven straight Toronto hitters.
"Obviously, the first inning I was up," Gonzalez said. "Just falling, falling early, rushing a little bit. I had time to work on it on my side, and I'll just go from there. Hopefully, next time it will be a little better. It wasn't that bad. A couple of hits in the first inning, (they) got some runs.
"Just go out there and get my innings in," Gonzalez added. "That's important, and obviously throwing strikes, not trying to walk everyone. I was falling behind a couple of guys, just didn't give in. Made some good pitches when I needed to."
Left-hander Wesley Wright allowed the eventual game-winning run on back-to-back doubles by Josh Thole and Munenori Kawasaki in the sixth inning.
Down 3-0, the Orioles loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh on a single by J.J. Hardy and walk to Chris Davis, but Matt Wieters – who is hitless in 20 spring at bats – bounced into a 3-6-3 double play.
One run scored on the play and Steve Pearce's two-out RBI single cut the lead to 3-2, but the Orioles couldn't tie the score in that inning.
Toronto scored two more runs on the Orioles in the top of the eighth inning, including one run on former Oriole Chris Dickerson's RBI double.