SARASOTA, Fla. -- Joey Rickard lined a run-scoring hit to left-center field to hold off a late Pirates rally, powering the Orioles to a 6-5 walk-off win on Thursday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium.Down three entering the top of the eighth, the Pirates tied the game off setup man Darren
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Joey Rickard lined a run-scoring hit to left-center field to hold off a late Pirates rally, powering the Orioles to a 6-5 walk-off win on Thursday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium.
Down three entering the top of the eighth, the Pirates tied the game off setup man Darren O'Day. The inning, highlighted by Pedro Florimon's two-run triple, saw O'Day removed after two outs in his first back-to-back outing this season.
The Orioles offense was lead by a trio of homers from Mark Trumbo, Jonathan Schoop and J.J. Hardy.
After Chris Davis' fourth-inning RBI double off Pirates starter Jonathon Niese, Trumbo drove in two more with his fourth spring homer. Niese, pitching in a Grapefruit League game for the first time since March 8, also allowed a solo shot to Schoop the next inning.
Niese, who became the first Pirates starter to go six innings this spring, struck out two in the 73-pitch outing.
"It was good. Threw six, that's awesome. Obviously, I'd like to eliminate the mistakes," Niese said. "I've just got to work on the focus a little bit, kind of bear down in certain situations and execute pitches."
Hardy opened the bottom of the seventh inning with his first spring homer, off Jorge Rondon.
Pittsburgh's Opening Day hopeful Matt Joyce was involved in each of the Pirates' first three runs. He lined his second spring homer into right field off O's starter Tyler Wilson in the first inning, singled in Cole Figueroa in the sixth and stole a base and scored on a Danny Ortiz single in the eighth.
• Britton sharp in first back-to-back outing
Wilson, who was hit by a comebacker in the second inning, eventually retired seven straight over his three innings. He allowed just one other hit in his fifth spring game.
"I felt good. I had to find the bottom of the zone a little bit early," Wilson said. "The ball had good life to it in the bottom of the zone. I just left a couple pitches up. Obviously, that pitch to Joyce was a sinker that didn't sink. I left it up in the zone. I wanted to try to run it off the plate before I went back in there, but he put a good swing on it. That's my fault early in the game.
Other than that, I felt like my stuff was really good down in the zone. Got a lot of ground balls and weak contact like that to the right side, [which] is what I'm looking for."
Up next for the Pirates: The Pirates will begin a stretch of three straight night games Friday as they meet the Red Sox for a 6:05 p.m. ET contest at JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, Fla., which will air on MLB.TV and Gameday Audio. Ryan Vogelsong is scheduled to make his first start since general manager Neal Huntington officially said he, Jeff Locke and Juan Nicasio are competing for the club's final two rotation spots. Relievers Arquimedes Caminero and Neftali Feliz are also scheduled to pitch. Left-hander David Price will start for the Red Sox.
Up next for the Orioles: Chris Tillman will take the mound against Yankees starter Ivan Nova on Friday afternoon, the second of three consecutive home games for the Orioles. The 1:05 ET matchup will be at Ed Smith Stadium and air on MLB.TV.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.