Postgame, Red Sox 5-4: It was just a few years ago that Casey Kelly played in Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota in a high school playoff game. His next visit to the park nets the 20-year-old a win in his first ever Grapefruit League game.
Kelly entered with the Red Sox trailing 4-1 and threw two scoreless innings to help them rally for the victory.
The effort in front of friends and family, which included one strikeout and one walk, outshined the debut for Clay Buchholz, who struggled in his first outing of the spring. Buchholz allowed three runs on five hits, walking two and striking out one. Nick Markakis took him deep with a solo homer in the first.
While it was a mixed bag on the mound, Boston had another productive game from many of its minor league bats. Tug Hulett had a three-run homer in Saturday’s win and Mark Wagner delivered against Baltimore, slugging a shot off David Hernandez to snap the 4-4 tie in the ninth. Angel Sanchez drove in two runs and Gil Velazquez and Yamaico Navarro had an RBI apiece.
Jacoby Ellsbury and J.D. Drew combined to go 0-for-6 with three strikeouts.
Robert Manuel worked a clean ninth for the save as the Red Sox improve to 3-2 this spring. They return home to City of Palms Park on Monday to host St. Louis.
Red Sox 5-4, Final: The projected Red Sox starters have been extremely slow to get going this spring, but the bats have come alive when the reserves come in.
It happened in Saturday’s 9-3 win over Minnesota in which Boston scored seven runs between the seventh and eighth innings.
Against Baltimore, the Sox get a two-run double from Angel Sanchez and an RBI single from Gil Velazquez in the eighth to tie it, and then a big blast off the bat of Mark Wagner in the ninth to propel them to a win in Sarasota.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 5-4: Mark Wagner had the go-ahead RBI in the Red Sox’ 2-1 win on Thursday night, and he has a chance to be the hero in this one.
Wagner, who split last season between Portland and Pawtucket, ends a run of four straight strikeouts by David Hernandez with a solo shot, just the Red Sox’ second this spring.
The 25-year-old is now 3-for-5 in Grapefruit League action. Robert Manuel will likely be called upon to try to get the save. Sarasota native Casey Kelly is in line for the win.
End 8th, 4-4: Casey Kelly issues a one-out walk for his first baserunner allowed this spring but a pair of ground balls get him out of the eighth unscathed.
Including his start against Northeastern on Wednesday, Kelly has tossed three scoreless innings.
Mid 8th, 4-4: Angel Sanchez and Gil Velazquez are looking to grab utility spots with the Red Sox, and both are making nice early impressions.
Sanchez doubles to the track to drive in two runs and Velazquez follows with an RBI single to tie it on the first pitch he sees from Armando Gabino.
That hit chases Gabino and moves Velazquez into a tie with Sanchez for the team lead in RBIs this spring. Each has knocked in three runs.
End 7th, Orioles 4-1: Pitching in his hometown and in a stadium he once played in as a high schooler, Casey Kelly looks good. He also flashes a little leather.
Kelly, considered the Red Sox’ top pitching prospect, gets Rhyne Hughes to pop out on an 0-2 offering and then makes a nice stab on a comebacker.
The 20-year-old then ends his first real inning of the spring with a strikeout.
Mid 7th, Orioles 4-1: Another Orioles reliever with few issues facing Red Sox bats. Jason Berken does walk a man but Josh Reddick follows with a groundout and Boston will be down to its last six outs.
The Sox have had just two hits in the last five innings.
Casey Kelly is next up on the mound for Boston.
End 6th, Orioles 4-1: After getting the first two batters of the sixth inning rather easily, Daniel Bard gives up a single and an RBI double to allow the O’s to add to their lead.
Bard battles back to strike out center fielder Matt Angle.
Jacoby Ellsbury and J.D. Drew were replaced an inning or so ago. The pair combined to go 0-for-6 with three strikeouts, each of them stranding four runners.
Mid 6th, Orioles 3-1: He stands 6-foot-9 and weighs 255 pounds, hails from Wolf Point, Montana, and goes by the name Kam Mickolio. Safe to say you won’t find another one quite like that, at least not on the Orioles roster.
Mickolio comes on in relief and allows a two-out double to Jed Lowrie but then fans Tug Hulett to end the threat.
End 5th, Orioles 3-1: Boof Bonser was looking pretty good in his Grapefruit League debut before Miguel Tejada doubled with two outs.
But Bonser gets Matt Wieters to ground out on the first pitch to get out of the inning and has to feel good about his first real outing with the club (unless we count the Boston College game).
In two innings, Bonser struck out three and did not walk a batter.
Mid 5th, Orioles 3-1: Aaron Bates leads off with an infield single but some of the Red Sox regulars go down easily.
Jacoby Ellsbury and J.D. Drew both strike out against Will Ohman and Victor Martinez grounds to third.
Just one of the last 12 Boston batters has reached, and Bates got on by virtue of a soft infield single. Not exactly knocking the cover off the ball.
End 4th, Orioles 3-1: Boof Bonser’s first work since Wednesday against Boston College goes rather well.
Bonser works a perfect fourth, striking out two. Red Sox pitchers have fanned five in four innings and have retired eight of the last nine hitters since Clay Buchholz had a rocky start to the second.
Mid 4th, Orioles 3-1: Just to contrast things at this very early stage, the Sox have a grand total of one home run in their first four-plus games this spring, compared to the 12 for the Orioles in the same span.
The lone player to go deep for Boston is Tug Hulett, who hit a go-ahead three-run bomb in Saturday’s 9-3 win over Minnesota.
Hulett was part of a quick 1-2-3 fourth inning for the Sox in this one, but he did hit the ball hard again. Second baseman Miguel Abreu made a diving stop before throwing out Hulett.
End 3rd, Orioles 3-1: Scott Atchison, rather than Boof Bonser, comes on in relief of Clay Buchholz and has much better success than the Red Sox starter.
Atchison gets Miguel Tejada to ground out and fans catcher Matt Wieters. Luke Scott then singled but was stranded when Garrett Atkins struck out looking.
The 33-year-old Atchison, in the mix for a bullpen spot, has a win and two scoreless innings to his credit this spring.
Mid 3rd, Orioles 3-1: The Sox go quietly in the third on a trio of fly balls. Jeremy Guthrie gets the first out before Chris George, a non-roster invitee, comes on and gets David Ortiz and Jeremy Hermida.
1:59 p.m.: Jeremy Guthrie gets one out in the second and is pulled in favor of Chris George. Guthrie allowed a run and three hits in 2 1/3 innings, walking two and striking out two.
End 2nd, Orioles 3-1: After Jon Lester was knocked around in his spring debut Friday night, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said it was an issue of Lester never getting his legs under him as he was constantly forced to work from the stretch.
Perhaps that was the issue with Clay Buchholz, who struggled to keep anyone off base. He had issues keeping the ball down and the Orioles took advantage.
Baltimore began the second inning with a double and three singles before a double play helped settle things down. Buchholz then struck out Nick Markakis, who had homered in the first, to end on a good note.
In two frames Buchholz gave up three runs on five hits and a pair of walks. He struck out two.
We’ll likely get Boof Bonser for a couple of innings next.
Mid 2nd, 1-1: Much has been made of the slick-fielding shortstop Jose Iglesias, but the Sox have another in camp in Yamaico Navarro, who gets Boston on the board with an RBI groundout.
The Sox loaded the bases with no outs on singles by Jeremy Hermida and Jed Lowrie and a walk to Tug Hulett. Navarro followed with a chopper to third baseman Miguel Tejada, whose only play was to first.
A walk to Aaron Bates loaded them back up but Jeremy Guthrie finally got out of it by inducing a pop out from Jacoby Ellsbury and a line to right off the bat of J.D. Drew.
The Sox have been stranding a ton of hitters the last two days.
End 1st, Orioles 1-0: The Orioles have been slugging away early on this spring and it continues as Nick Markakis hammers a solo shot off Clay Buchholz, who also walks two in the first inning.
It is the second home run of the spring for Markakis and the 12th for Baltimore. It also makes Buchholz the third Red Sox starter in five Grapefruit League games to surrender at least one run in the first inning.
Buchholz followed up the homer by walking Miguel Tejada and Matt Wieters. Luke Scott popped up to end the inning.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz both strike out against Jeremy Guthrie to get things started here in Sarasota, the new spring home for the Orioles.
In between, Guthrie surrenders a long drive by J.D. Drew that Nick Markakis catches on the warning track, and a single to Victor Martinez.
1:04 p.m.: As we get set to start in Sarasota, we have reports that Daisuke Matsuzaka threw 65 pitches in a bullpen session today and is on track to appear in actual game action around March 18.
12:23 p.m.: The sun is out and temperatures are in the mid-60s, a perfect day for a game in Sarasota as the Red Sox and Orioles prepare to meet for the first time this spring.
The Sox’ starting lineup looks like this:
Jacoby Ellsbury — CF
J.D. Drew — RF
Victor Martinez — C
David Ortiz — DH
Jeremy Hermida — LF
Jed Lowrie — 3B
Tug Hulett — 2B
Yamaico Navarro — SS
Aaron Bates — 1B
Clay Buchholz will start, followed by Boof Bonser, Daniel Bard, Scott Atchison, Sarasota native Casey Kelly and Robert Manuel.
Baltimore tosses out the following nine:
Adam Jones — CF
Ty Wigginton — DH
Nick Markakis — RF
Miguel Tejada — 3B
Matt Wieters — C
Luke Scott — LF
Garrett Atkins — 1B
Miguel Abreu — 2B
Cesar Izturis — SS
Jeremy Guthrie, looking to rebound from a down year, makes his Grapefruit League debut on the mound. Mark Hendrickson, Kam Mickolio, David Hernandez and Will Ohman will also see some action.
9:53 a.m.: Clay Buchholz makes his 2010 Grapefruit League debut when the Red Sox travel to Sarasota to take on the Baltimore Orioles in a matinee.
Sarasota native and top pitching prospect Casey Kelly is also scheduled to debut in the 1:05 p.m. game. We will follow all the action for you right here as the Sox look to build on a 2-2 spring training record.
Buchholz, who threw a no-hitter against the Orioles in his second major league game back in 2007, is looking to firmly plant himself in the back end of the Red Sox’ rotation. He should have an inside track after a solid stretch run last year.
In one particular 10-game span in August and September, the 25-year-old went 6-2 with a 2.37 ERA.
Kelly, 20, tossed a scoreless inning against Northeastern University on Wednesday. He will appear in a run of relievers that includes Boof Bonser, Daniel Bard, Scott Atchison and Robert Manuel.
Jeremy Guthrie will be on the hill to start things off for Baltimore, which has lost three straight Grapefruit League contests.