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Orioles have solid offensive day, but are banged up in 5-2 loss to Pirates

BRADENTON, FLA. — Take away an unforgiving wind blowing in from center field at LECOM Park and the Orioles might've had four or five home runs in their eventual 5-2 Grapefruit League loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday afternoon.

One ball off the bat of Orioles third baseman Manny Machado seemed destined to hit off the center-field batter's eye, but Pirates center fielder Starling Marte had to charge in to make the catch after initially retreating.

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"It's one of those days," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "It's a good day to pitch, too. We probably had about four home runs today. You try to keep that in mind. We had four balls that were definitely home runs, but you can't do anything with the wind. … You can probably make the case for four or five. So that's one of the things [to think about] when you're evaluating."

The Orioles left Bradenton banged up. Left-hander Wade Miley departed from the game one batter into the second inning after taking a comebacker off his pitching arm. Showalter said there were no plans for any tests and there was optimism that Miley would be able to make his next start. But Showalter expressed concern for two bubble players who have been often used on the road this spring — second baseman Johnny Giavotella and Rule 5 outfielder Anthony Santander.

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Despite multihit games from Hyun Soo Kim, Trey Mancini and Aneury Tavarez, the Orioles (3-5-1) couldn't rally from an early 4-0 deficit.

Kim had infield singles in each of his first two plate appearances. Mancini hit an RBI double in the fifth to go with a leadoff single in the fourth. And Tavarez, who was placed in the lineup after Santander was scratched before the game, hit an RBI single and a double.

Center fielder Joey Rickard also reached twice, drawing a pair of walks.

In his second-last tune-up before joining Team USA for the World Baseball Classic, right-handed reliever Mychal Givens tossed a scoreless inning in the sixth, rebounding from allowing a home run in his previous appearance on Tuesday.

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Giavotella's scare

While attempting a diving stop in the second inning, moments after Miley walked off the field, Giavotella took a ball off the inside of his glove hand, which required some attention from the team's medical staff. Giavotella signaled to his left hand and underwent a brief examination, but stayed in the game. He reached base twice – hitting a double and walking to improve to 5-for-13 this spring -- and will be evaluated Saturday.

"This time of the year they're all trying to show [something]," Showalter said. "That ball smoked him, but he's not going to say anything. We got him out. He's pretty sore."

Santander was scratched from the starting lineup with neck stiffness. Showalter said Santander wasn't scheduled to play Saturday anyway, so could return Sunday.

Lee goes three strong

Left-hander Chris Lee threw three innings in relief, becoming just the second Orioles pitcher to throw that many innings this spring. He retired nine of the 11 batters he faced. After sitting down his first five batters Friday, Lee allowed an earned run in the fourth inning.

He yielded a two-out double just inside the left-field line to Marte, and then Machado made a diving play in the hole at short on a ball hit by Phil Gosselin, but an errant throw to first allowed Marte to score. The run was earned because Lee threw a wild pitch during the next at-bat.

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