LAKELAND, Fla. — Orioles projected ace Kevin Millwood had a forgettable debut with his new club, allowing six runs in just two-thirds of an inning in a 9-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Saturday before an announced 6,457 at sun-drenched Joker Marchant Stadium.
Millwood, who was hoping to get through at least three innings, retired just two of the 10 hitters he faced. Tigers outfielder Clete Thomas started the first-inning outburst with a long homer to right field and then ended Millwood's afternoon with an RBI single.
In between, Carlos Guillen, Alex Avila and Scott Sizemore had RBIs for the Tigers off Millwood, who threw 17 of his 30 pitches for strikes.
"I went out just wanting to work on my fastball command and work on my changeup," Millwood said. "At times, both were good. Sometimes they hit them even when they were good. There's not a whole lot you can do.
"I'm sure that no matter what I say, people are going to worry about it and talk about it. I use this time to get ready. I try to get my pitches to a level where they're ready for Game 1. If I go out on a day like today and get beat around a little bit working on something, I don't care."
Orioles pitching prospect Brandon Erbe (McDonogh) also had a rough outing, giving up three runs on three hits in the sixth inning. Two of those runs scored on a homer by Casper Wells, who went to Towson University.
Rhyne Hughes provided most of the Orioles' offense with a two-run homer in the ninth inning.
Ty Wigginton had a solo homer off Tigers starter Justin Verlander in the second inning and a leadoff single in the fourth.
Outfielder Nolan Reimold, who had surgery on his left Achilles tendon in September, made his Grapefruit League debut and finished 0-for-2, hitting into a double play.
"It was good to get out there and get some at-bats," Reimold said. "I felt good. I was seeing the ball well. Now, I just have to hit it."