Baltimore Orioles defeat Pittsburgh with five-run seventh

Matt Harvey made a very productive start for the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota today. He was able to keep Pittsburgh runners off base for the most part, thus solidifying his potential spot with the Orioles and in the rotation. Harvey’s line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K.

Harvey got off to an inauspicious start, however. He gave up a solo homer to Hays in the first inning with one out. But the O’s came right back. Austin Hays smacked a first inning home run as well. And wouldn’t you know it, the Birds decided to go back-to-back in the home run department. Freddy Galvis followed Hays, and smacked one out as well.

But in his second at-bat, in the third, Hays tied the game up for Pittsburgh. His RBI-single matched the Birds at two. However yesterday I said that the O’s needed to stop letting other teams nose their way past. And they took that advice to heart, with Anthony Santander smacking an RBI-double in the last of the fifth, giving the Orioles a 3-2 lead.

And the O’s weren’t finished. Gunnar Henderson came in for his first at-bat in the last of the seventh with two runners in scoring positions. And Henderson delivered with a two-RBI single up the middle. Later in the inning Jahmai Jones‘ three-run homergave the O’s an 8-2 lead. The Birds would put an additional four runs on the board in the eighth, and Pittsburgh would get one back in the ninth, leading to a 12-2 Orioles’ victory over Pittsburgh at Ed Smith Stadium.

There is some concern for pitcher Hunter Harvey, who left a game last week with an oblique injury. Manager Brandon Hyde said before the game that we wouldn’t see Harvey for awhile (Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports:

He’s going to miss some time. How much time, we’re not sure, just because obliques are tricky. But it’s an injury. The oblique is super sore.

“I just talked to him five minutes ago. He feels a lot better today, but that’s just going to be, we’re going to have to give it time and see how it goes.

There are also rumors that the Orioles are finalizing an agreement with free agent third baseman Maikel Franco. The deal isn’t official yet, but it appears the two sides are committed to one another. A native of the Dominican Republic, this will be Franco’s eighth major league season. He hit .278 last year with eight homers over sixty games. Both Franco and Freddy Galvis are former Philadelphia Phillies, so that would play to his advantage in that a familiar face is already in the clubhouse.

The O’s head to Charlotte Sports Park tomorrow to take on the Tampa Rays. Felix Hernandez gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Ryan Yarbrough. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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