SARASOTA, Fla. – A.J. Burnett showed some improvement, and the Philadelphia offense showed a little life as well as the Phillies held on to beat the host Baltimore Orioles 6-5 on Wednesday.
Burnett, who was 0-2 with a 12.60 ERA in his first two starts, went four-plus innings Wednesday.
It was hardly perfect – he hit two consecutive batters in the third inning – but he was able to work his way out of trouble, limiting the damage to one run until he appeared to run out of gas in the fifth inning.
A lead-off walk and a two-run homer by Baltimore’s Nolan Reimold in the bottom of the fifth spelled the end for Burnett on this day. He gave up four hits and three runs while walking one and striking out two.
The 37-year-old right-hander has won at least 10 games for nine straight seasons, and 11 times in his career.
While Burnett was keeping the Orioles in check, the Philadelphia offense had its third-highest scoring day of the spring. Of the 12 hits the Phillies collected, six went for extra bases. Three of those extra base hits came with two outs and led to runs.
Bobby Abreu had a double and a triple for the Phillies. Ben Revere had two hits and scored two runs.
Philadelphia also showed some patience at the plate, drawing seven walks.
A single by Revere and walks by Freddy Galvis and Ryan Howard loaded the bases in the first inning and all three runners scored on a triple by Domonic Brown to right field.
Back-to-back triples by Revere and Galvis in the top of the second made it 4-0 Philadelphia.
The Phillies would get two more runs in the fourth when catcher Cameron Rupp singled, Abreu doubled and Maikel Franco followed with an RBI single. A sacrifice fly by Revere scored Abreu for the Phillies’ sixth run of the game.
With Burnett in the clubhouse, and the Phillies leading 6-3, Philadelphia got a scoreless inning of relief from Shawn Camp, Phillppe Aumont and Kevin Munson.
Cesar Jimenez threw a scoreless eighth, but in the ninth inning he gave up a two-out, two-run home run to Alex Gonzalez to make it 6-5, then walked Baltimore’s Nola Reimold to put the tying run on base.
However, Jimenez would get Xavier Paul on a fly ball to second to end the game and secure the victory for the Phillies (3-10-2).
Philadelphia will host a New York Yankees split squad on Thursday. Roberto Hernandez is scheduled to pitch for the Phillies against New York’s Ivan Nova.