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Showalter not worried about Gonzalez's command

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, making the start with Chris Tillman being scratched, struggled with his command in a two-inning outing in Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Pirates.

"I felt great in the 'pen. Just one of those days," said Gonzalez who allowed four runs (one earned). "Things weren't working when I went on the field. Offspeed wasn't there, my fastball was up."

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Gonzalez wasn't helped by an error in left field by Nate McLouth, who fell trying to catch Brad Hawpe's fly ball that changed directions due to the wind, and the Pirates followed up the second-inning miscue with four hits.

"We counted five outs he got that the conditions changed," manager Buck Showalter said of Gonzalez, who is projected to be one of the O's starters this year. "You know, a couple foul balls that would have been caught that [were] blown out. I don't think anybody that was here today would have caught the ball that Nate tried to catch.

"[Gonzalez] was off from what he spoiled us with. But I'm OK with him. Arm feels good, you can tell. I think the ball is coming out of his hand pretty good."

Gonzalez, who pitched two scoreless innings in his first Grapefruit League appearance, struck out two Sunday and allowed four hits and a pair of walks. He pitched around a leadoff walk to Russell Martin and was uncharacteristically wild in the 46-pitch outing, admitting he's getting some of the rust off early in camp.

"I think he's throwing the ball good," Showalter said of Gonzalez, who is in his first Major League Spring Training. " I'm really happy with Miguel. Can tell he's had a good offseason. Looks stronger. Looks pretty fresh. Ball is coming out of his hand good."

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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