Final, Orioles 5-4: Evan Meek downed the Red Sox in order in the ninth inning to lock up a 5-4 win for the Orioles.
Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks went deep for Boston in the losing effort. The Red Sox briefly led following the duo’s back-to-back homers in the fourth inning, but the Orioles struck for two runs in the sixth inning to regain control.
Middlebrooks collected two hits, as did Dustin Pedroia, who only received two at-bats before being lifted for a pinch runner in the third inning.
Grady Sizemore went 1-for-3 with a run. Sizemore is expected to complete his stretch of playing in three straight games on Thursday. Jackie Bradley Jr., who still is battling with Sizemore for the Red Sox’s starting center field job, went 0-for-2 with a strikeout in Wednesday’s loss.
Allen Webster gave up five runs (all earned) on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three, walked two and consistently found himself in trouble. The Red Sox’s bullpen didn’t allow a hit. Tommy Layne, Burke Badenhop and Brayan Villarreal combined for 3 1/3 scoreless frames.
The Red Sox are scheduled to face the Minnesota Twins on Thursday. That contest is slated to kick off at 7:05 p.m., although the Red Sox are expected to make some roster cuts before then so stay tuned.
Mid 9th, Orioles 5-4: The Red Sox will come up in the ninth down a run thanks to a scoreless inning from Brayan Villarreal.
Trent Mummey found himself in scoring position after walking and advancing to second base on Julio Borbon’s sacrifice bunt. Villarreal kept him there by retiring Nick Markakis to end the inning.
Evan Meek will look to close things out in the ninth inning for the O’s.
End 8th, Orioles 5-4: Mike Napoli walked with one out, but the Red Sox couldn’t flip that into tying the game.
Jonny Gomes grounded into a forceout and Mike McCoy struck out swinging during Steve Johnson’s scoreless eighth inning.
Mid 8th, Orioles 5-4: Burke Badenhop’s effort in the eighth inning was very encouraging.
Badenhop has made a living off keeping the ball on the ground, and that’s exactly what he did while holding the Orioles scoreless.
Badenhop induced three straight ground ball outs while facing Mike Yastrzemski, Ryan Flaherty and Alexi Casilla.
Ryan Dent, who entered the game at the start of the inning, was busy. He fielded all three grounders while playing second base.
End 7th, Orioles 5-4: Corey Brown’s single was the only hint of offense for Boston in the seventh inning.
Ryan Webb worked the scoreless frame for Baltimore. Brown singled with one out, but Webb induced two straight ground balls while facing Grady Sizemore and Jonathan Herrera.
Mid 7th, Orioles 5-4: Tommy Layne just keeps rolling along.
Layne, who recorded the final out of the sixth inning, retired all three hitters he faced in the seventh.
Layne hasn’t allowed a run in 9 1/3 innings this spring. The left-hander has allowed only two hits in that span.
End 6th, Orioles 5-4: T.J. McFarland took over for Miguel Gonzalez in the sixth inning after five frames from the O’s starter.
McFarland made quick work of the Red Sox, inducing three straight ground ball outs.
Mid 6th, Orioles 5-4: The Orioles sent Allen Webster to the showers in the sixth inning while recapturing the lead.
Henry Urrutia and Ryan Flaherty smacked back-to-back doubles to kick off the sixth, leading to a run that tied the game at four apiece.
Webster rebounded to retire Alexi Casilla and Quintin Berry, but Jemile Weeks knocked the right-hander from the game and gave the O’s a 5-4 lead with a single into right field.
Tommy Layne took over for Webster and struck out David Lough. Layne has had an excellent spring.
End 5th, Red Sox 4-3: The Red Sox couldn’t carry any fourth-inning momentum into the fifth inning.
Miguel Gonzalez has retired six straight since Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks hit back-to-back homers in the fourth. That includes all three hitters Gonzalez faced in the fifth inning.
Jonathan Herrera grounded out. Mike Carp and Mike Napoli both flied out.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 4-3: Allen Webster pitched with a lead for the first time in the fifth inning, and he did so rather effectively.
Webster retired Nick Markakis, Chris Davis and Steve Clevenger in order. That’s an accomplishment, as those three guys are responsible for Baltimore’s three runs.
End 4th, Red Sox 4-3: The left side of Boston’s infield gave the Red Sox a 4-3 lead in the fourth inning.
Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks drilled back-to-back home runs to kick off the bottom of the fourth. Bogaerts’ homer is his second of the spring, while Middlebrooks’ blast marks his fourth.
Middlebrooks also went deep against the Rays on Tuesday.
Ryan Lavarnway, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Grady Sizemore were retired in order by Miguel Gonzalez after the back-to-back jacks.
Mid 4th, Orioles 3-2: Allen Webster again was forced to pitch with men on base. He escaped unscathed.
Ryan Flaherty, Alexi Casilla and Quintin Berry connected for three straight one-out singles in the fourth inning. That loaded the bases for the top of the Orioles’ order.
Jemile Weeks hit a ground ball to Mike Carp at first base, and Carp fired home for a forceout.
David Lough then grounded to second base to end the threat.
End 3rd, Orioles 3-2: The Red Sox have sliced into the Orioles’ lead.
The first three hitters reached against Miguel Gonzalez in the third inning. Grady Sizemore walked and Dustin Pedroia singled to set the table for Mike Carp’s RBI single into right field.
Boston added another run in the inning when Mike Napoli grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, although Gonzalez certainly will take that exchange at this point.
Pedroia will get the rest of the afternoon off. He was replaced by Jonathan Herrera after singling in the third.
Mid 3rd, Orioles 3-0: The Orioles tacked on two more runs in the third inning.
Nick Markakis drove in David Lough, who walked, with an RBI double. Chris Davis plated Markakis with an RBI single.
Allen Webster escaped the inning by inducing his second double play of the afternoon, but it’s been somewhat of a struggle for the young right-hander thus far.
End 2nd, Orioles 1-0: The Red Sox failed to score in the second inning despite loading the bases against Miguel Gonzalez.
Jonny Gomes was hit by a pitch with one out after Mike Napoli led off with a strikeout. Gomes ended up on third base two batters later when Will Middlebrooks singled.
Gonzalez walked Ryan Lavarnway to load the bases for Jackie Bradley Jr., who still is fighting for the club’s starting center field job. Bradley grounded out to end the inning.
Mid 2nd, Orioles 1-0: Steve Clevenger put the Orioles on top with a solo blast to right field in the second inning.
Allen Webster rebounded to record a couple of ground ball outs before issuing a free pass to Alexi Casilla.
Casilla’s two-out walk didn’t result in any additional second-inning damage, as old friend Quintin Berry flied out to center field.
End 1st, 0-0: Miguel Gonzalez, like Allen Webster, benefited from a well-timed double play in the first inning.
Grady Sizemore led off with a line drive into right field and decided to get aggressive on the bases. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, that aggressiveness didn’t pay off, as Sizemore was thrown out at second base.
Dustin Pedroia followed with a single, but Gonzalez quickly ended things with a 4-6-3 double play.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Allen Webster worked around some trouble in the first inning.
Webster surrendered back-to-back singles to Jemile Weeks and David Lough to begin the game, but a well-timed double play settled things down for the young right-hander. Nick Markakis grounded into the 6-4-3 twin killing.
Chris Davis, who is coming off a 2013 season in which he just obliterated baseballs left and right, struck out swinging to end the inning.
1:10 p.m.: The Sox’s and O’s have gotten things underway at JetBlue Park.
12:45 p.m.: You probably noticed that David Ortiz and Shane Victorino both are absent from Wednesday’s lineup.
Ortiz has been dealing with struggles this spring. He’s just 2-for-35 with 12 strikeouts, so he’ll spend some extra time in the cage, although neither he nor manager John Farrell are concerned about the spring woes.
Victorino was scratched Tuesday because of left side discomfort, and the Red Sox plan to be cautious with the veteran outfielder. Victorino is expected to play Thursday, although it could be in a minor league game so that a disabled list stint can be backdated if, for some reason, he isn’t ready come Opening Day.
12:20 p.m.: Thursday’s lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox
Grady Sizemore, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Mike Carp, 1B
Mike Napoli, DH
Jonny Gomes, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Ryan Lavarnway, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., RF
Allen Webster, RHP
Jemile Weeks, 2B
David Lough, LF
Nick Markakis, DH
Chris Davis, 1B
Steve Clevenger, C
Henry Urrutia, RF
Ryan Flaherty, 3B
Alexi Casilla, SS
Quintin Berry, CF
Miguel Gonzalez, RHP
11:45 a.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox will look to make it two straight Wednesday. The Baltimore Orioles are standing in their way.
Allen Webster will get the start for the Red Sox, who defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 in Port Charlotte on Tuesday. Grady Sizemore delivered the big blast in Tuesday’s win, showing once again that he might be ready to be Boston’s starting center fielder on Opening Day.
Sizemore will play in his second of three straight games Wednesday. If all goes well this week, the Red Sox might feel comfortable carrying him instead of Jackie Bradley Jr., although the battle certainly is ongoing.
Wednesday’s first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET. Be sure to follow along with NESN.com’s live blog.
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