Four homers propel Orioles to 6-5 Grapefruit League win over Pirates

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles hit a spring-high four homers off Pittsburgh Pirates pitching Friday afternoon in a 6-5 win at Ed Smith Stadium. It was the Orioles' sixth victory in seven  Grapefruit League games this spring.

Second baseman Brian Roberts led off the bottom of the first inning by taking a 0-1 offering from right-hander James McDonald over the right-field fence.

Nolan Reimold and Wilson Betemit then hit back-to-back homers with two outs in the second inning off McDonald to put the Orioles up 4-0. Reimold's two-run shot, which came after Nate McLouth's two-out single, cleared the picnic area beyond the left-field fence

For Roberts and Reimold, two starters whose 2012 campaigns were cut short by injury, it was a positive sign. Roberts, who did not play last spring and was limited to 17 games in the regular season, hit his first homer in any game since April 13, 2011. Reimold, who needed neck surgery after 16 games in 2012, hit his last homer on April 20 of last year.

Reimold left the game after two innings with a sore throwing shoulder. Manager Buck Showalter said Reimold complained of the sorenees before his home run at-bat.

Jason Pridie, who replaced Reimold, hit a solo homer off Duke Welker in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Orioles a 6-4 lead.  

Orioles starter Jason Hammel, making his first spring start, made easy work of the Pirates in two innings of work. Take away a ground-rule double by Chase d'Arnaud that one-hopped the center-field fence, and Hammel retired the other six batters he faced, striking out three. He started with 0-2 counts on five of the seven batters.

Pittsburgh's Gaby Sanchez hit a pair of solo homers, one off Mike Wright in the fourth and another off left-hander Mark Hendrickson in the sixth, to make the score 5-4.

Wright allowed a two-out, RBI single in the third to Andrew McCutchen that made it 4-1, but center fielder Adam Jones threw out Ivan DeJesus going to third to end the inning.

Trailing 6-4, Alex Presley hit a sacrifice fly to right field to cut the Orioles' lead to 6-5 in the seventh against Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland, who has allowed three earned runs in 2 1/3 innings this spring.

Right-hander Branden Kline, the Orioles' second-round pick in 2012, recorded the final three outs for the save. The game ended on a play at the plate when Steve Pearce threw out Jordy Mercer, who was scoring from second after an infield single to second base.