SARASOTA, FLA. — The wind was blowing out at Ed Smith Stadium and both teams took advantage of the Florida jet stream in the course of the Orioles' 8-7 exhibition victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.
New Orioles starter Yovani Gallardo might have had a solid second start of the spring if he hadn't run into Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco or, more accurately, Franco had not run into a couple of pitches and driven them over the left field fence to account for four of the five runs Gallardo gave up over 2 1/3 innings of work.
It has not been a happy spring for the Orioles starting rotation, which features some extreme ERAs as the club nears the halfway point in the Grapefruit League season. Gallardo, who got a late start because he signed with the Orioles after camp opened, raised his ERA to 16.62. Ubaldo Jimenez's stands at 9.45 and Miguel Gonzalez raised his to 22.24 with a rocky outing on Sunday.
If there's good news for a team that has won just two of its first 15 exhibition games, it's that the Orioles offense has begun to wake up. Manny Machado hit his second homer of the spring -- a two-run shot -- to cap a four-run third inning that pulled the Orioles back into the game. Caleb Joseph and Ryan Flaherty also drove in runs during the rally.
The Phillies pulled away again in the fifth inning with a pair of runs off Cuban pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne, but Adam Jones got the Orioles a run closer with his second home run of the spring in the sixth and the "Norfolk Shuttle" lineup scored three times in the eighth to put the O's ahead.
Slugger Pedro Alvarez made his second straight start on Monday, this time in the designated hitter role that he is likely to fill a lot this season. He got three at-bats, grounding out twice and striking out.
J.J. Hardy has been swinging the bat well all spring and had another solid game against the Phillies with a single and a walk in three trips. He's batting .333 with a .400 on-base percentage in seven games and has made a lot of hard contact that is not reflected in those averages.
Though Gallardo and Despaigne took some lumps, the Orioles had several solid relief performances. Darren O'Day gave up a couple of hits, but struck out three in his only inning. Brad Brach, Dale Thayer and Pedro Beato followed O'Day with consecutive scoreless innings, garnering Thayer the win and Beato the save.