Nicasio fans 10 Orioles in four innings

Pirates' pitcher Juan Nicasio gave up just one hit and struck out 10 in four innings Wednesday against Baltimore. (AP)

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) – Right-hander Juan Nicasio struck out 10 Orioles in four innings in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 9-3 loss to Baltimore on Wednesday.

Nicasio, who spent last season in the Dodgers’ bullpen and is being stretched out in case the Pirates need another starter, got 10 of his 12 outs by strikeouts – including his last seven. He struck out Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo twice.

Manny Machado got the Orioles’ only hit off Nicasio, a third-inning single.

In four appearances, Nicasio has pitched 10 shutout innings and given up five hits and struck out 16.

“I feel really good today. Had great command of my fastball and my breaking ball, too. Very good start today,” Nicasio said.

Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said he was impressed with Nicasio.

“He’s going to have a tough time making their club, I’m told. That’s pretty good stuff there. That was legit,” Showalter said.

Andrew McCutchen hit a long two-run home run off Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman in a three-run fourth.

“He doesn’t miss those pitches. That’s probably the worst breaking ball I threw all day,” Gausman said.

Jonathan Schoop hit a three-run home run in the fifth, and Christian Walker added one in the seventh, when Baltimore scored four runs.

Hyun Soo-Kim, who was hitless in his first 23 at-bats, had his first multi-hit game. He has five hits in his last 10 at-bats.


Pirates: Nicasio is the first pitcher to strike out 10 batters in four innings or fewer since St. Louis’ Lance Lynn on March 14, 2014, against Atlanta, according to STATS LLC. … LHP Francisco Liriano, scheduled to start Pittsburgh’s April 3 opener, threw four innings in a minor league game in Bradenton.

Orioles: Gausman became the first Orioles pitcher to throw four innings. He allowed three runs on four hits.


Pirates: 3B Jung Ho Kang, who is expected to begin the season on the disabled list after surgery on his left leg and knee, has stepped up his rehabilitation. Kang, who has already been cleared to hit, will perform more intricate infield drills this week. … Minor league OF Austin Meadows, who was the team’s first round selection in the 2013 draft, has an orbital fracture and will undergo surgery in the next several days.

Orioles: C Matt Wieters, who reported a sore right wrist on Saturday, said his wrist feels better. Wieters won’t throw or hit until the soreness is gone. The Orioles conferred with orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who read Wieters’ MRI and concurred with the team’s finding that there was no structural damage. … LHP T.J. McFarland, who hadn’t pitched since March 6 with a tender elbow, threw a scoreless inning. … INF/OF Jimmy Paredes (wrist), who hasn’t played since March 3, is nearing a return to baseball activities.


Pirates: LHP Jeff Locke, who has allowed six runs in nine innings pitches, starts for Pittsburgh as the Pirates host RHP Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees today.