Outlook: Hammel needs to find health to be valuable

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- With a little less than two weeks left of camp, right-hander Jason Hammel completed his longest outing of the spring. Despite throwing one more pitch than the predetermined allotment, he was not pleased with much of anything about Sunday's performance in which he allowed four runs to the Phillies in a split-squad game.

"Definitely not the sharpness I wanted to have," said Hammel, who threw 76 pitches, 47 for strikes. "The curveball was lazy. Both breaking balls were a little bad. Out of all my outings, this was definitely the worst. I'll just chalk it up as a work day."

Facing a Phillies lineup filled primarily with regulars, Hammel worked quickly through the first two innings and was able to wiggle out of extensive trouble in the third and fourth frames, giving up a run in each. In the fifth, though, after walking Ben Revere, Hammel served up a two-run homer to Freddy Galvis, who laced a 1-0 changeup over the right-field wall.

"It could have been better," Hammel said of the pitch to the lefty-swinging Galvis. "I was facing a lefty-heavy lineup today and I wanted to get the work in with the changeup. I got some swings and misses and some ground balls, but definitely could have been better."

Making his fourth appearance of the spring, Hammel, who is expected to be the club's Opening Day starter, allowed six hits and one walk while striking out three. The run in the third came as a result of a wind-aided double and the one in the fourth got started with a softly hit bloop double by Michael Young that barely dropped fair.

With Opening Day a little more than two weeks away, Hammel is not concerned about the type of work he's had so far, which has included three Grapefruit League contests and one simulated game.

"Everything is going well, definitely getting stronger," Hammel said. "I'm feeling strong, getting deeper and deeper into games now. Definitely happy with the way my body feels."

Hammel said he is on track to get at least two more starts before the end of camp.

"I thought he pitched inside pretty well today and got in on some pretty good hitters," said bench coach John Russell, who served as the manager in place of Buck Showalter. "I was very encouraged the way he pitched inside. I know he's upset about the runs he gave up, but I think the day went well for him, for what he wanted to do today."

Hoes reassigned to Triple-A Norfolk

BAL@PHI: Hoes' RBI double brings O's within two runs

The Orioles reassigned L.J. Hoes on Sunday, sending the outfielder to Minor League camp. Hoes will report to Triple-A Norfolk.

Hoes, the Orioles' No. 6 prospect according to MLB.com, appeared in two games with the O's last season. In those two games, Hoes made just one plate appearance, grounding out while pinch-hitting for Nate McLouth. In Spring Training, Hoes appeared in 16 games, posting a solid .320/.320/.400 slash line.

The Washington, D.C., native owns a .287/.372/.388 career line in the Minors. The right-handed hitter has seen time at all three outfield positions, splitting the 2012 season at Double-A Bowie and Norfolk. Hoes has 147 hits, 54 RBIs and five home runs in the Minors.

The Orioles now have 48 players remaining in camp.

Russell a proud papa after son records hit

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Orioles bench coach John Russell managed the team's split-squad game against the Phillies in place of Buck Showalter, who was in Sarasota for the other split-squad contest against the Twins on Sunday.

Russell was fortunate enough on this St. Patrick's Day to also have his son, Steel, get in the lineup. A left-handed catcher from Midland Junior College in Texas, Steel was drafted in the 32nd round of the 2012 Draft.

Steel went 1-for-2, including a hard-hit liner to short for an out and a clean single to right to start a rally in the ninth.

"It was great," John Russell said. "A very proud father. He swung the bat well."

Pearce continues powerful spring campaign

BAL@PHI: Pearce's solo shot gives Orioles early lead

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Steve Pearce continues to showcase himself, hitting his fourth home run of the spring in the Orioles' split-squad game against the Phillies on Sunday.

Pearce lofted an 0-2 pitch from Zach Miner over the left-field wall in the second inning. The solo blast gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead over the Phillies, who saw starter Roy Halladay exit the game after one inning due to a stomach virus.

Pearce leads the team in home runs and has a team-high 12 RBIs this spring.

"He's done well," said bench coach John Russell, who served as the manager in place of Buck Showalter. "We know he can swing the bat. He's capable of that type of power."