After finding out Cole Hamels would be out longer than anticipated, we had today to look forward t, with AJ Burnett taking the hill for his second start. Also slated to pitch was Spring Training question mark, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez.
The Game: The Orioles opened the scoring in the second inning. After getting the first two outs rather routinely, Burnett surrendered a single to O's shortstop, JJ Hardy. Ryan Flaherty followed Hardy's single with a two-run homer, putting Baltimore up 2-0.
After seeing Ubaldo Jimenez retire the Phillies in order in the top of the third, the Orioles piled on some more runs in the bottom half. Burnett led the inning off by hitting David Lough. He stole second base and scored on a Nick Markakis single during the next at-bat. That extended the O's advantage to 3-0. Chris Davis and Nelson Cruz hit back-to-back singles to load the bases. Matt Wieters grounded into a force-out at second, allowing Markakis to score. 4-0 Orioles. JJ Hardy added a single of his own next, scoring Chris Davis to make it 5-0. Burnett walked Ryan Flaherty before hitting Jemile Weeks with a pitch to force in another run. Before you know it, it is 6-0 in favor of Orioles.
The Phillies responded in the top of the fourth. After two quick outs, Domonic Brown drew a walk. Ryan Howard smacked a double to left field in the next at bat to score Dom. Marlon Byrd was up next and he sent a single to score Howard. 6-2 Orioles.
Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez relieved AJ Burnett in the bottom of the fourth and he was welcomed into the game with a leadoff triple off the bat of Nick Markakis. On the very next batter, Gonzalez threw a wild pitch, allowing Markakis to score. 7-2 Orioles. After a walk to Adam Jones, the Orioles cracked three straight singles that scored two more to make it 9-2. A Jemile Weeks sacrifice fly make it 10-2 heading to the fifth inning.
The Phillies loaded the bases in the top of the fifth, but couldn't capitalize. The Orioles added two more in the bottom of the fifth courtesy of a Chris Davis RBI single and a Ryan Howard fielding error at first. A fielding error in the bottom of the sixth by Phils shortstop Andres Blanco made the score 13-2 Orioles.
The Phillies scored in the top of the seventh & eight innings thanks to solo home runs from Cameron Rupp and Darin Ruf. Meanwhile the Orioles tacked on two more runs, leading to the eventual final score of 15-4.
Each Phillies pitcher gave up at least one run in today's loss. AJ Burnett gave up six runs on seven hits over three innings. Miguel Gonzalez gave up four runs in one inning while Michael Stutes gave up two runs in his inning of work. David Buchanon, Ken Giles and Cesar Jimenez each pitched an inning, giving up a run a piece.
Notable offensive performances:
Jimmy Rollins: 0-2, K
Domonic Brown: 0-2, BB, R
Ryan Howard: 1-3, R, RBI
Marlon Byrd: 1-3, RBI
Cameron Rupp: 2-3, R, RBI
Impact: With a spring record of 1-7-1, the Phillies seem unable to find their footing with their offense and pitching consistency. Today left us with more questions about Cuban pitcher, Miguel Gonzalez, who gave up four runs in just one inning. AJ Burnett had a rough second outing as well. In terms of offense, the top of the order of Revere and Rollins were a combined 0-for-5 with a strikeout. All of this being said, Cameron Rupp has been showing some pop this spring, hitting .300 after today's game. Marlon Byrd is hitting .368.
Up next: Tomorrow, the Phillies host the Astros split squad team at 1:05PM. Roberto Hernandez will make his third start of the spring for the Phillies. He pitched three scoreless frames in his last outing.
Brandon Apter is a writer for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @ApterShock