SARASOTA, Fla. -- Andrew McCutchen launched a long two-run homer, and Juan Nicasio struck out 10 batters over four dominant innings, but the Orioles homered three times and rallied for a 9-3 victory over the Pirates on Wednesday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium.Jonathan Schoop hit a game-tying three-run homer for
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Andrew McCutchen launched a long two-run homer, and Juan Nicasio struck out 10 batters over four dominant innings, but the Orioles homered three times and rallied for a 9-3 victory over the Pirates on Wednesday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium.
Jonathan Schoop hit a game-tying three-run homer for the Orioles, who improved to 3-11-3 in Grapefruit League play. J.J. Hardy provided the go-ahead RBI double, and Christian Walker came off the bench to provide insurance by hitting a three-run shot of his own.
• O's giving Walker first pro taste of outfield
Before Baltimore broke through against the Pittsburgh bullpen, it could not solve Nicasio. The right-hander entered the game with six scoreless innings and six strikeouts this spring, then tore through an Orioles lineup filled with regulars.
• Nicasio fans 10, stays unblemished in spring
Over four innings, he allowed only a Manny Machado single and a Chris Davis hit-by-pitch but struck out every member of the Baltimore lineup at least once, except for left fielder Hyun Soo Kim. Over 70 career starts in the Majors, Nicasio has reached 10 K's only once, for the Rockies back on July 31, 2011.
• Kim shows signs of regaining hitting prowess
McCutchen broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning against Orioles starter Kevin Gausman. Following Francisco Cervelli's leadoff walk, he drove a hanging breaking ball way over the left-field seats for his second homer of the spring. Later in the inning, Cole Figueroa's sacrifice fly made it 3-0.
"He's a pretty good player. He doesn't miss those pitches," Gausman said of McCutchen. "That's probably the worst breaking ball I threw all day."
Once Nicasio was out, the Orioles tied it up quickly. Kim and Hardy opened the fifth with singles off Jared Hughes, and Schoop followed with a liner over the left-field wall. Schoop is now 13-for-32 (.406) with two homers and eight RBIs in 12 games this spring.
Baltimore took the lead against Arquimedes Caminero in the sixth, as Hardy's ground-rule double to left-center drove home Adam Jones. An inning later, Walker cleared the left-field wall, giving him a team-high three homers and 11 RBIs.
Joey Rickard added a solo shot in the eighth.
Gausman, making his second Grapefruit League start, held the Pirates scoreless on one hit over the first three frames. But his final inning was rockier as he faced Pittsburgh's lineup a second time, and he finished with three earned runs on four hits and one walk, with three strikeouts.
• Hurdle looking at OBP in leadoff experiments
Up next for the Orioles: The O's will play a pair of split-squad games on Thursday. One group will head to Fort Myers, Fla., to face the Red Sox at 1:05 p.m. ET, with right-hander Vance Worley making his fourth appearance (second start) of the spring. The other group will host the Twins at 7:05 p.m., live on Gameday Audio, with righty Mike Wright trying to bounce back from his outing last Friday, when the Yankees reached him for five runs over 2 2/3 innings.
Up next for the Pirates: Left-hander Jeff Locke will take the mound for the fourth time, perhaps ramping up his workload to a full five innings, as the Pirates welcome the Yankees to McKechnie Field on Thursday at 1:05 p.m. ET, live on MLB.TV. Once again pleased with his revamped delivery, Locke allowed two runs over four innings and struck out five Saturday against most of the Tigers' everyday lineup.
Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.