Gonzalez answers 'test' with his spring best

O's righty holds Yankees to 2 runs over 4 innings

Gonzalez answers 'test' with his spring best

TAMPA, Fla. -- Entering Friday night's 11-2 win over the Yankees, Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez had allowed 14 earned runs in 5 2/3 innings over three spring starts, calling into question his hold on a rotation spot.

Prior to the game, manager Buck Showalter called the outing "a good test," and Gonzalez responded with his best performance of the spring, holding a Yankees lineup made up mostly of regulars to two runs on four hits over four innings. He walked one, struck out one and threw 34 of his 55 pitches for strikes, lowering his Grapefruit League ERA to 14.90.

Orioles Spring Training info

Did Gonzalez need that kind of outing?

"I think we all do. We all do at some point," he said. "You want to feel confident going towards the season."

Gonzalez said that in his last game, when he allowed six runs against the Twins on Sunday, he was flying open in his delivery and overthinking things on the mound. He credited Friday's improved results more to "not trying to do too much," than to any uptick in stuff.

Showalter, however, saw better command and a better splitter from Gonzalez.

"The split, he really kind of broke it out this outing," Showalter said. "I thought it was more like the split he's had in the past. I don't think he's quite as crisp as he's capable of being, but I was encouraged with the command and the split."

Worth noting

• Right-hander Dylan Bundy, the Orioles' No. 2 prospect, is adjusting to a bullpen role. Bundy pitched on only one day of rest for the first time this spring, and the 23-year-old retired the side in order in the fifth, with one strikeout.

"I thought Dylan was good again," Showalter said. "That was the first time we did that with one day off. It was good to see him carry over what he had been doing."

• Righty Odrisamer Despaigne tossed three scoreless innings out the bullpen, as the Orioles try to stretch him out. Despaigne, acquired from San Diego on Feb. 4, retired nine of the 10 batters he faced in his sixth appearance this spring.

"He's a guy who has a lot of different pitches, different arm angles," Showalter said. "He's into a league he hasn't been in, in a lot of ways. I'm trying to give him the benefit. He's been as advertised and he's competing for a spot on our roster. He's got a chance."

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.