Gallardo not concerned by spring struggles

New O's starter has allowed eight earned runs in first two starts

Gallardo not concerned by spring struggles

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Over the years, Yovani Gallardo has learned to not put much stock in Spring Training numbers. The veteran right-hander entered Monday with a 3.66 career ERA in the regular season but a 4.70 mark in the spring, including 10.13 last year for Texas.

So Gallardo didn't feel he had much reason for concern after giving up five earned runs over 2 1/3 innings in the Orioles' 8-7 win over the Phillies on Monday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium.

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"It's frustrating for sure, but you see a lot of guys going out there struggling with their command a little bit, or their mechanics aren't right, and it's tough," said Gallardo, whose team has the spring's highest ERA, at 7.26. "You're facing big league hitters, and you're trying to get yourself right with your mechanics.

"The most important thing is to try not to get frustrated. It's tough, but you've just got to remember it's spring, and you've got a long ways to go."

Gallardo didn't sign with the Orioles until Feb. 25, putting him a little bit behind in terms of finding his release point and polishing his offspeed stuff. He gave up three runs on four hits over two innings against the Phillies last Wednesday, then immediately ran into trouble again in his Sarasota debut.

Phillies leadoff man Tyler Goeddel took advantage of the wind blowing out on a leadoff homer to left field, and two batters later Maikel Franco crushed one well over the bleachers. After a clean second inning, Franco got to Gallardo again in the third, this time for a three-run shot.

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While Gallardo was much happier with his fastball command than in his debut, he had trouble with his slider, finishing the pitch too far out in front.

"I threw a couple that were good, and the other ones just weren't there," he said. "That's one of the last things to come, the offspeed pitches, getting that feel and that release point consistently every time."

The good news for Gallardo is that he feels good physically and continues to build up his pitch count, which reached 57 on Monday.

"Crispness is not where it's gonna be," manager Buck Showalter said. "It's early. He got a little bit of a tardy start -- not much -- but he's a competitive guy. He'll figure it out."

Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.