Final, Orioles 12-9: Jackie Bradley Jr. gave fans one more highlight in the ninth, legging out a triple after ripping a ball over the head of right fielder Conor Jackson. But it was hardly enough to stage a rally, and the Orioles closed out a 12-9 win.
Adam Jones hit a pair of home runs, and the O’s launched five long balls in total. They also banged out 17 hits as part of their offensive assault, which was aided by the windy conditions in Sarasota.
Jones ended his day with three hits, as did Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy. Matt Wieters finished with two hits, and he joined Jones in the home run parade. Hardy and Wilson Betemit also went deep.
The Red Sox’ offense wasn’t too shabby, either. The Sox scored their nine runs on 16 hits, which included home runs from Christian Vazquez and Jonny Gomes.
Will Middlebrooks, who has been swinging a hot stick, finished the game 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Gomes, Bradley, Vazquez and Mike Napoli each had two hits in the losing effort.
Bradley, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning, hit a two-run single in his first-bat, which tied the game 9-9 at the time. He would later add the triple with two outs in the ninth.
Graham Godfrey got the start for Boston, and he was victimized by the treacherous conditions. He gave up six earned runs on nine hits while striking out three. Clayton Moretensen, Jose De La Torre, Anthony Carter, Miguel Celestino and Chris Martin also got in work for the Sox
The Red Sox will enjoy an off-day on Tuesday, before then hosting the Marlins at JetBlue Park on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s first pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET. Jon Lester is expected to start.
End 8th, Orioles 12-9: The Red Sox’ two top prospects combined for the final out of the inning.
Bradley tracked down a ball hit into the gap by Alexi Casilla, and he quickly fired it back into the infield. It was cut off by shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who tossed over to second for the third out.
If you’re not encouraged by these two guys, you’re out of your mind.
Mid 8th, Orioles 12-9: Drew Sutton picked up a two-out single, but it was an otherwise nice inning for Orioles reliever Darren O’Day.
Dan Butler popped out for the first out. Mauro Gomez then hit a ball that might have left the yard a few innings prior. It was a high fly ball to left that actually seemed to get knocked down by the wind rather than be carried by it. Sorry, Mauro.
After Drew Sutton singled, Lyle Overbay struck out swinging to end the inning.
End 7th, Orioles 12-9: It’s a great day to be a hitter. If you’re a pitcher, well, keep your head up.
J.J. Hardy connected on Baltimore’s fifth home run of the game, and the Orioles responded to the Red Sox’ three-run top half of the inning with a three-run bottom half.
Adam Jones singled to lead off, and Matt Wieters then grounded into a force out, before Chris Davis scooped up a single of his own. J.J. Hardy then jumped all over a high fastball from Miguel Celestino, sending it sailing over the fence in left.
Hardy is now 3-for-4 with four RBIs. He is far from the only hitter with multiple hits, though. Adam Jones and Chris Davis each have three hits, and Matt Wieters has two. The O’s have 15 hits in total through seven innings.
Mid 7th, 9-9: The legend of Jackie Bradley Jr. continues to grow.
Will Middlebrooks and Lyle Overbay led off the seventh inning with back-to-back singles. Ryan Sweeney then flew out to right field, which allowed Drew Sutton — who pinch ran for Middlebrooks — to scamper up to third. Mike Carp drove Sutton in with a double down the left-field line that rolled around the corner.
That’s when Bradley added to his amazing spring.
Bradley fell behind in the count against Pedro Strop, but it didn’t faze the young outfielder in the least. The 22-year-old ripped a base hit back up the middle, which plated two runs and tied the game at nine apiece.
Bradley is now batting .434 (23-for-53) with two home runs and 11 RBIs in his first big league camp.
End 6th, Orioles 9-6: Impressive inning for Anthony Carter on a day when the ball is flying every which way.
Carter shut the Orioles down in order in the seventh, so perhaps the Red Sox can get a little momentum going here as we enter the final three frames.
Ryan Flaherty struck out swinging, Brian Roberts grounded out to second and Nate McLouth flew out to left. That basically sums up the rather uneventful — yet easy — inning.
The Red Sox did make some substitutions, though. Daniel Nava, Mike Carp, Xander Bogaerts and Dan Butler are in. Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes, Jose Iglesias and Christian Vazquez are out.
Mid 6th, Orioles 9-6: Jonny Gomes has watched a few balls sail over the fence in this game, so perhaps that fueled the powerful outfielder.
Christian Vazquez, who hit a home run back in the second inning, smoked a one-out double into the left-center field gap. That set the stage for Jonny Gomes’ two-run bomb two batters later.
Jim Johnson, the talented Orioles closer who recorded 51 saves last season, left a slider up to Gomes, and he paid for it.
Anthony Carter is coming on to pitch for Boston.
End 5th, Orioles 9-4: Jose De La Torre kept the Orioles off the scoreboard for the first time since the first inning, but Wilson Betemit’s injury is the biggest takeaway.
Betemit worked a one-out walk. Then, with Manny Machado popping one up, Betemit took off running. Betemit seemed to hyperextend his leg while between first and second, though, and he went crashing to the ground in pain.
Mid 5th, Orioles 9-4: The Orioles have certainly done a much better job of dealing with the wind.
Lyle Overbay hit a popup down to third to lead off. Initially, it looked like trouble, since everything hit in the air in this game has the potential to be disastrous. Manny Machado managed to handle it without any issues, though.
Mark Hendrickson, who entered the game before the inning, then got Ryan Sweeney to ground out and Jose Iglesias to line out.
End 4th, Orioles 9-4: The ball is flying out of the yard in windy Sarasota.
Adam Jones decided one blast wasn’t enough, and the All-Star center fielder jacked his second home run of the game. This one sailed over the left-field fence, although it wasn’t before some brief confusion for left fielder Jonny Gomes.
Gomes looked initially like he had the fly ball sized up, but the wind — again — got a hold of it, and he seemed to lose track of it. Gomes even threw his palm to the sky before realizing that the ball was about to travel over the fence.
That blast came after Brian Roberts worked a leadoff walk and Nate McLouth popped out, so it was of the two-run variety.
The next batter, Matt Wieters, decided to take his cuts this time around, after dropping down a bunt single in his last at-bat. It worked out well for the talented, young catcher, as he sent a bomb sailing over the center-field fence to give Baltimore its ninth run of the game.
The Orioles’ three fourth-inning runs came off Clayton Mortensen, who entered the game before the frame.
Mid 4th, Orioles 6-4: The Red Sox had a great opportunity to erase the Orioles’ lead, but Will Middlebrooks struck out with the bases loaded.
Brock Holt started with a single, and Christian Vazquez struck out swinging before the O’s brought in Sean Gleason to replace starter T.J. McFarland. Gleason walked Jonny Gomes, and then hit Mike Napoli on the shoulder to load the bases.
The pitch that hit Napoli was a bit scary, as it was up around the head area. Clearly, though, it was one that just got away from Gleason.
Middlebrooks, who is one of the team’s hottest hitters, already has two hard-hit singles in this game, and he’s responsible for driving in two of Boston’s four runs. He couldn’t add to his total, though, as Gleason won the battle via the K.
End 3rd, Orioles 6-4: What a bizarre half inning.
Nate McLouth led off with a ground out, but things got very interesting from there.
Adam Jones crushed his first home run of the spring over the center-field fence, once again proving that the ball is really carrying. So how would Matt Wieters and Chris Davis — both of whom have plenty of power — fare in the hitter-friendly conditions?
Well, Wieters beat the Red Sox’ shift by dropping a bunt down the third-base line. Perhaps impressed, Davis decided to do the same, and both sluggers reached via bunt singles.
J.J. Hardy wouldn’t make it three bunts in a row. Instead, he lifted a sky-high fly ball to left field that gave Jonny Gomes a ton of trouble. Gomes first started sprinting toward the line, before then realizing that the wind was going to push the ball all the way back near the fence. The ball eventually landed on the warning track and bounced up into the seats, allowing Wieters to score and Davis to advance to third.
Wilson Betemit, who already has a home run in this one, hit a sac fly to make it a 6-4 lead.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 4-3: Mike Napoli is swinging a hot bat, but his baserunning could use some work.
Jonny Gomes lined a single into left field to get the inning going, and Napoli followed up with hard-hit single into center. Napoli is now 2-for-2 in this one, and 5-for-6 over the last two games, raising his spring average to .351.
Napoli got caught up on the bases a little bit after reaching, though.
Will Middlebrooks smoked a ball into right field that got caught up in the jet stream and sailed over the head of Ryan Flaherty. It ricocheted off the right-field wall, but since Napoli expected it to be caught, he could only advance to second base, leaving Middlebrooks with a very long single. Gomes did come around to score from second base, at least, so that gave the Red Sox a 4-3 lead.
Napoli would advance to third on Lyle Overbay’s fly out to right, but his mistake on Ryan Sweeney’s comebacker to the mound may have cost the Sox a run. Napoli got caught up in no man’s land, and he was tagged out between third and home.
End 2nd, 3-3: The Red Sox’ three-run lead evaporated quicker than it was built.
After Chris Davis singled and J. J. Hardy doubled to lead off the inning, Wilson Betemit connected on a three-run moonshot to center field. The wind clearly played a factor — as it did on Christian Vazquez’s home run — but Betemit still did a nice job of staying back and taking advantage of a high offering from Red Sox starter Graham Godfrey.
Following the home run, Manny Machado ripped one down to Will Middlebrooks at third. The Boston third baseman didn’t have much time to react, though, and the ball shot past him and into left field. Fortunately for the Sox, Brian Roberts grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 3-0: Two players known more for their defensive prowess than their offensive ability helped extend Boston’s lead in the second.
Jose Iglesias, who went 3-for-3 on Sunday, struck a one-out single up the middle. Two batters later, catcher Christian Vazquez crushed a two-run homer over the left-field fence to give the Sox a 3-0 edge.
Vazquez’s strong throwing arm behind the plate has turned heads this spring. He’s been clocked at 1.7 seconds in delivering a throw down to second base, which is far better than the 2.0-second league average. If he can continue to make strides offensively, he’ll become an even more intriguing prospect in the Red Sox’ system.
Iglesias’ offensive improvements continue as well. His spring average is now up to .286, and it seems like he has the Opening Day shortstop job pretty much locked up.
End 1st, Red Sox 1-0: Lyle Overbay is still looking to prove he deserves a roster spot, and he certainly helped his cause in the first.
After Brian Roberts grounded out, Nate McLouth hit a hot shot into right-center field. It took a while for Ryan Sweeney to arrive at the ball in right field, and McLouth — who was hustling right out of the box — managed to secure a double.
Adam Jones then struck out on a pitch inside, and Matt Wieters threatened to drive in McLouth. Wieters ripped a hard ground ball to the right side, but Overbay made a nice, diving stop, and flipped over to first to retire the side.
Mid 1st, Red Sox 1-0: T.J. McFarland got a couple of quick outs before running into the buzzsaw that is the middle of the Boston order.
Mike Napoli went 3-for-4 on Sunday, while Will Middlebrooks went 2-for-4. Middlebrooks actually would have been 3-for-4 as well if not for a great, diving catch by Phillies center fielder Ben Revere. Their hot hitting continued in the first inning of this one.
Napoli smacked an opposite-field double down the right-field line, and Will Middlebrooks followed up with a single into left-center field. Middlebrooks has nine extra-base hits over his past nine games, and his base hit in the first inning gave Boston an early 1-0 lead.
1:06 p.m.: We’re off and running in Sarasota…
1 p.m.: We’re just about ready for baseball in Sarasota, where the Sox and O’s will be hooking up for the last of their five spring training contests. The O’s are winless in the first four meetings (0-3-1), so they’ll be hoping for a boost from the home crowd in this one.
As you may have noticed, Jacoby Ellsbury is out of the starting lineup for Boston. He jammed his heel during Sunday’s game, although he said after the contest that the injury isn’t concerning. He could be back in the lineup as soon as Wednesday, as the Red Sox are off on Tuesday.
There’s also some good news to pass along regarding David Ortiz and Stephen Drew. Ortiz took batting practice in the cage on Monday, and it might not be long before he starts to take some cuts on the field. Drew had another full day of workouts on the field.
For those interested in some additional reading throughout this game, the weekly baseball mailbag has been posted. Feel free to check that out at the link below.
10:45 a.m.: The Sox enter Monday’s game against the O’s on the heels of a 7-6 victory over the Phillies on Sunday. Jackie Bradley Jr. had a home run and four RBIs in that contest to power Boston’s 14-hit barrage, but he’ll be out of the lineup when the action kicks off on Monday afternoon. The outfield will instead feature Jonny Gomes, Shane Victorino and Ryan Sweeney from left to right, respectively.
One player to keep an eye on is Lyle Overbay. The veteran first baseman has the option of opting out of his contract on Tuesday, although there’s still a good chance he could crack Boston’s Opening Day roster given the club’s need for a backup first baseman. Overbay and Mike Carp have been battling for playing time in that role throughout the spring.
Check out Monday’s lineups below.
Shane Victorino, CF
Jonny Gomes, LF
Mike Napoli, DH
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Ryan Sweeney, RF
Jose Iglesias, SS
Brock Holt, 2B
Christian Vazquez, C
Graham Godfrey, P
Brian Roberts, 2B
Nate McLouth, LF
Adam Jones, CF
Matt Wieters, C
Chris Davis, 1B
J.J. Hardy, SS
Wilson Betemit, DH
Manny Machado, 3B
Ryan Flaherty, RF
T.J. McFarland, P
8 a.m.ET: In exactly one week, the Red Sox will be gearing up for their regular-season opener against the Yankees. There are still some questions to be answered between now and then, though, and Monday’s game against the Orioles will offer another chance for some clarification.
Graham Godfrey will start on the mound for the Red Sox, marking his first appearance of the spring. He was acquired from Oakland in exchange for pitcher Sandy Rosario back in December after spending the majority of his 2012 season with Triple-A Sacramento.
Godfrey is scheduled to be followed by Clayton Mortensen, Jose De La Torre and Anthony Carter.
Monday’s game is expected to start up at 1:05 p.m. ET, so be sure to keep it right here for all of your hardball needs.