SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) Miguel Gonzalez proved to be an excellent substitute for the Baltimore Orioles, pitching six innings of three-hit ball Friday in an 8-0 victory over an Atlanta Braves split-squad.
Gonzalez, who got the start after Chris Tillman was scratched due to an illness, walked none and struck out five. He came back out for the sixth with his pitch count at 55 and retired the next three batters in 18 pitches.
”I was pretty happy about my performance,” Gonzalez said. ”(Matt) Wieters was throwing out curveballs on the first pitch, and I thought that was pretty great. I was changing speeds on them. They have great hitting and it was a pitching duel and it was fun.
”I thought my off-speeds were there today,” Gonzalez added. ”I was pretty happy about the results, just getting groundballs and giving my team a chance to win a ballgame.”
Chris Davis had a sacrifice fly and a bases-loaded walk, pushing his spring RBI total to a team-leading 11. Braves starter Gus Schlosser retired 12 in a row after David Lough’s double to lead off the first. Left-hander Luis Avilan replaced Schlosser in the fifth and retired the first two batters before walking Wieters.
Orioles: Gonzalez was scheduled to pitch a Triple-A game Friday before getting the call as Tillman’s replacement. He’s allowed three runs over 13 innings in three appearances since taking a line drive from Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp off his left shin on March 7. Gonzalez is the only Orioles pitcher to go more than five innings this spring.
Braves: Schlosser made his second start of the spring after three straight relief appearances and allowed only one hit over four innings. Schlosser hasn’t permitted a run in 5 1-3 relief innings. He won’t make the club out of spring training, but he’s made a nice impression.
Orioles: Tillman was excused from camp today. Showalter is hoping it’s a 24-hour virus that’s circulated through the clubhouse.
”We’ll see what tomorrow brings,” Showalter said.
Alex Gonzalez returned to the lineup after learning he’s anemic. He’s now taking iron pills.
”Everything’s fine,” he said. ”They were looking at the inside of my stomach to see if it’s OK and there’s nothing serious.”
Dylan Bundy threw off a flat mound for the second time as part of his progression from Tommy John surgery in June 2013. The Orioles are hoping that Bundy can have his first bullpen session on March 31.
Braves: Pitcher Brandon Beachy had his second Tommy John surgery Friday. Dr. Neal ElAttrache handed the procedure in Los Angeles.
Veteran reliever Luis Ayala took his physical today and will sign a minor league contract with the Orioles that includes an invitation to spring training. He’s expected to report to the minor league complex in Twin Lakes Park. It’s a depth move for the Orioles. Ayala has no shot at breaking camp with the team.
LOWDOWN ON LOUGH
Orioles outfielder David Lough missed more than a week with neck stiffness that brought symptoms of dizziness and eye floaters. He was cleared to play Thursday night in Bradenton, coming off the bench and hitting a single in his first at-bat. He stole a base and scored a run. Lough led off Friday, doubled to right-center field in the first and scored the game’s first run. Lough will be considered for the leadoff spot during the regular season. Nick Markakis also is a candidate.