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Flaherty goes deep, but rest of bats quiet in defeat


SARASOTA, Fla. -- Playing the second of three games in four days against the Orioles, the Pirates benefited from a great start from Gerrit Cole and a key error to beat Baltimore, 5-2, at Ed Smith Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Pittsburgh jumped on Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, making the start with Chris Tillman being scratched, for a four-run second inning. The Bucs were helped by an error in left field by Nate McLouth, who fell trying to catch Brad Hawpe's fly ball that changed direction due to the wind, and followed up the miscue with four hits, including Matt Hague's RBI double.

Only one of the four runs was charged to Gonzalez, who issued leadoff walks in both innings in an uncharacteristically wild 46-pitch outing. Gonzalez, who pitched two scoreless innings in his first Grapefruit League appearance, struck out two on Sunday and allowed four hits and a pair of walks.

Cole, the Pirates' top pitching prospect, retired seven straight to start the game and didn't allow a hit until Ryan Flaherty hit a two-run homer to right field in the third. The 22-year-old Cole allowed just one more hit, striking out two over four innings in his fourth spring appearance.

Orioles closer Jim Johnson tossed a scoreless third in his first Grapefruit League outing, with Darren O'Day and Mark Hendrickson adding an inning apiece.

Mark Melancon had a 1-2-3 fifth for Pittsburgh, while Baltimore backup catcher Taylor Teagarden -- who has been sidelined with lower back discomfort -- entered the game in the seventh.

Up next: The Orioles will play the Pirates for the third time in four games on Monday, traveling to Bradenton for a 1:05 p.m. ET game on Gameday Audio. Baltimore's Zach Britton will get the start opposite Pittsburgh lefty Jeff Locke, with Jake Arrieta, Luis Ayala and Adam Russell also scheduled to pitch for the O's.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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