Our weekly look at one item tying together each of the Red Sox' opponents in the AL East surveys the Orioles, whose starters didn't fare much better than Boston's in the final full week in camp.
While Opening Day starter Jeremy Guthrie has made two straight starts in minor league games, those slated to fall in behind him had some mixed results.
Brian Matusz, the future ace of the staff, had his worst outing of the spring by allowing four runs on five hits and three walks in only 1 1/3 innings at Minnesota. Jake Arrieta, like Matusz a very intriguing young arm, fared a bit better but still surrendered three home runs and four runs overall in 5 1/3 innings the next day. Both have ERAs just under 6.00.
Brad Bergesen, slated to be the team's fourth starter, was able to throw only four pitches Friday before a line drive off the bat off Twins leadoff hitter Denard Span caught Bergesen in the right (throwing) forearm. For a guy still technically fighting for a spot in the rotation and with a spring ERA also flirting with 6.00, it was a tough blow for Bergesen. Fortunately, the injury, technically termed a right forearm contusion, is not serious.
The one bright spot during this last significant run through the rotation was the efforts of the other guys in the mix for roles in the rotation. While Zach Britton continued a dominant spring with five solid innings against the New York Yankees on Tuesday, his nearest competitor, Chris Tillman, threw six strong frames against Red Sox Triple-A players. The O's have some decisions to make there.