BRADENTON, Fla. -- An inability to locate pitches inside made for a long stay on the mound for the Pirates' Joel Hanrahan on Thursday night.
Hanrahan entered in the fifth and watched the three-run lead he inherited evaporate rapidly. He walked the leadoff hitter and saw the next five Orioles batters reach on base hits. Two of those hits were doubles, and another a two-run homer by Ryan Adams.
Hanrahan did end his inning with three straight strikeouts to strand a pair of runners in scoring position. But even that was of little solace to the team's closer.
"I was embarrassed for a little bit, there," Hanrahan said. "You give up five hits in a row, it's not looking too good. You're trying to work on things, but there comes a point in time when, 'Alright, let's let the competitor part take over, and get some people out.' I didn't do that until too late."
Hanrahan went into the game wanting to focus particularly on pitching inside. He missed on a pair of inside fastballs to Nolan Reimold, who drew the walk. He kept trying to go inside, but watched many of those attempts end up over the middle of the plate. And from there, Baltimore hitters were in a position to tee off.
"He was trying to get the ball in, but hitters can get your attention certain times," manager Clint Hurdle said. "It is what it is. There are no major concerns. He got his work in. He's healthy. He's got to have better command. When balls are up, they get hit."
This was the second of Hanrahan's four spring outings that has not gone all that well. He gave up three hits and a walk before being pulled with two outs in an appearance against the Twins on March 2. In his other two relief appearances, Hanrahan did not allow a hit.
Still, no one -- including Hanrahan -- appears worried about the up-and-down start to the spring.
"I'm not overly concerned about it, but you still have to get people out," Hanrahan said. "For the most part the ball was up. It's something you have to work on."