Gallardo settles in after rocky 1st in O's debut

Righty allows three runs in opening frame before pitching perfect 2nd inning

Gallardo settles in after rocky 1st in O's debut

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Yovani Gallardo made his much-anticipated Orioles debut on Wednesday against the Phillies, pitching two innings in Baltimore's 8-4 loss.

Gallardo, who pitched a scoreless second inning, got jumped on early. Philadelphia tagged him with four hits -- including a pair of doubles and a home run -- en route to a three-run first.

"I felt good," Gallardo told reporters in Clearwater. "You always want to get that first one out of the way. The first inning, once that hitter steps up, you do a little bit too much. But I was able to settle in in that second inning, get those ground balls, get that weak contact."

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Gallardo was glad he was able to get through his scheduled two innings. He threw 35 pitches, 19 for strikes, and said -- despite his late start this spring -- it's been fun joining the O's.

"It definitely has," he said. "I think the guys in this clubhouse, they've made it easy for me. It's a great group of guys. Since Day 1, having really most of the guys go out there for the press conference, it just shows the kind of chemistry that we have here, how close they are in the clubhouse. They work hard. They have fun at the same time doing it, but whenever it's time to take care of business, you can see they leave everything out on the field and prepare."

Signed to a two-year deal with an option last month, Gallardo adds a veteran presence, and his consistent track record of going deep in games should help stabilize the Orioles' rotation this season.

"This is a veteran," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He knows where the finish line is. He knows where he has to be. We trust him.

"He's a low-pulse guy. He's not a guy who is going to be hyperventilating about things. He knows what this is about. It's fun to be around because it shows a lot of confidence. Everybody here is going to have a bad outing this year, and I don't think he's a guy who is going to quiver a lot when the trigger needs to be fired.

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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.