SARASOTA, Fla. – Portland’s Ryan Flaherty hit a two-run homer off Pittsburgh’s top prospect to account for Baltimore’s only runs Sunday in a 5-2 loss to the Pirates.
Flaherty homered in the third inning off Gerrit Cole, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft.
Flaherty, who hit a game-winning three-run homer in the ninth inning Thursday against the Blue Jays, continues to impress in his attempt to secure a roster spot. He stayed with Baltimore in 2012 as a Rule 5 draft choice and is competing for a utility spot.
“He’s doing the things to put himself in the position to make it,” said Orioles Manager Buck Showalter.
Flaherty’s former Deering High teammate, Ryan Reid, struck out the side on nine pitches in the ninth to earn the save for Pittsburgh. He has allowed only one hit in four scoreless innings this spring.
INDIANS: Manager Terry Francona ended some of the drama about his starting rotation, picking right-hander Zach McAllister to be the club’s No. 4 starter.
McAllister, who went 6-8 in 22 starts last season, will be in Cleveland’s rotation behind Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Brett Myers. The Indians are still looking for a No. 5 starter, with Scott Kazmir, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco in the mix. David Huff will try for a bullpen role, Francona said.
ATHLETICS: Left-hander Brett Anderson, scheduled to start on opening day, strained a muscle in his upper right back and left his outing against Arizona after facing just two batters.
Anderson was injured while attempting to cover third base after a ground ball caromed off the glove of third baseman Josh Donaldson with a runner on first.
ROYALS: Jeff Francoeur, Billy Butler and Chris Getz combined for nine hits and nine RBI as Kansas City beat the Los Angeles Angels 17-11 at Surprise, Ariz., for its 13th win in 14 games.
PHILLIES: Cole Hamels gave up one hit in five innings and Laynce Nix homered in a 7-1 victory over the Houston Astros at Kissimmee, Fla.
Hamels retired 14 straight batters after allowing a leadoff double to Tyler Greene.
REDS: Cincinnati’s new leadoff hitter, Shin-Soo Choo, got four hits, stole two bases and scored twice in a 7-3 victory over a Chicago White Sox split squad at Glendale, Ariz.
YANKEES: David Phelps, bidding for a spot in the starting rotation, allowed three hits over five innings in a 3-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Dunedin, Fla.
TIGERS: Rick Porcello, competing for the last spot in Detroit’s rotation, pitched five shutout innings as the Tigers beat the Washington Nationals 2-1 at Lakeland, Fla.
MARLINS: Chone Figgins, trying to revive his career after being released by Seattle, was 4 for 4 with two RBI in Miami’s 10-2 win over the Atlanta Braves at Kissimmee, Fla.