Orioles go up 8-0 vs. Pirates, hang on for 12-10 win

The Baltimore Sun

The Orioles scored eight runs in the first inning Sunday, but still had to squeak out a victory in the late innings of a sloppy, rainy contest.

Paced by a Chris Dickerson grand slam against Pittsburgh starter Chris Leroux, the Orioles took an 8-0 lead in the top of a first that included the ejection of Pirates catcher Russell Martin for arguing balls and strikes.

The Orioles and starter Brian Matusz had trouble holding the lead. Matusz gave up two runs in the first on an Andrew McCutchen homer and allowed three more runs before leaving the game after the fourth.

In his quest for the fifth starter’s job, Matusz was tagged for five runs on nine hits and a walk in four innings.

“When it’s my turn to pitch, you are supposed to go out there and get a job done,” Matusz said. “And I didn’t do that today.”

The Pirates rallied all the way back in the sixth when they scored five runs against Orioles lefty Troy Patton. The big blow was a two-run double by Pedro Alvarez against Jacob Pettit, who was facing his first batter in relief.

The Orioles surged ahead again in the seventh on Steve Pearce’s solo home run, his sixth homer of the spring. Pearce added an RBI single in the ninth, helping the Orioles improve to 17-7-3 in the Grapefruit League season.

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