Orioles top Red Sox 5-4; Middlebrooks, Bogaerts homer


In yet another spring training meeting between division rivals that will meet 18 times during the regular season, the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Red Sox today 5-4 in Fort Myers, FL.

It’s absolutely silly that the AL East teams play each other so much in the Grapefruit League.  In fact, to avoid facing the team he will meet on opening day, the Red Sox pushed Jon Lester, whose rotation turn was today, off to a Single A game against the Fort Myers Twins to avoid seeing the Orioles yet again in his final spring tune up.

Lester was sharp, working six innings, allowing a run on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts amongst his 94 pitches.  He looks ready to start the season.

As for the big club, Red Sox starter Allen Webster got knocked around by the Orioles split squad as he worked 5.2 innings and allowed 11 hits and five earned runs with two walks and four strikeouts.  He is ticketed to start the season in Pawtucket and apparently could use further seasoning there.

Mar 11, 2014; Sarasota, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks (16) rounds third base after hitting a home run in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Will Middlebrooks continued his impressive spring by going 2-3; singling and hitting his fourth home run to raise his average to .341.  Xander Bogaerts continued to show he is about to come out of his slow start to the spring by also homering in a 1-3 day at the plate.  Dustin Pedroia also chipped in with two hits on the day.

It’s time for spring training to be over and for the real games to begin.  It’s been a long spring and everybody is ready for the games to finally count.