Baltimore shredded Boston pitching for 20 hits in a game that featured 34 hits and 24 runs.
The Boston Red Sox travelled to Sarasota and Ed Smith Field to take on division rival Baltimore only to be decimated by a 20 hit attack that featured four home runs in a 16-8 beat down of Red Sox pitching.
Boston started burly 24-year-old right-hander Justin Haley. Haley, who? I remember seeing Haley in an NESN-TV game from Portland and a quick trip to the stats showed Haley finished 5-16 with a 5.15 ERA in 2015 for the 6th round 2012 pick. Why Haley? Scheduled starter Clay Buchholz remained in Fort Meyers to pitch a minor league game so Haley got the call.
The Red Sox lineup consisted of only two players – Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley – considered regulars and had a nice representation of Pawtucket, Portland and Salem with Rafael Devers, Mauricio Dubon, Sandy Leon, Allen Craig and Mike Miller starting along with Haley.
O’s “Welcome ” Haley
Haley demonstrated why he had such an inflated ERA at Portland and it took only the first inning. The first batter up – Joey Rickard – got hit by a pitch. One batter later Manny Machado singled and then the O’s pulled a double steal. Chris Davis led the AL in strikeouts (208) in 2015 and Haley did just that – a whiff. Then came the pain.
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Mark Trumbo was brought into O’s Land to provide power and he did that with a two-run double. Another new hire – Pedro Alvarez – followed with a run-producing single. J.J. Hardy was retired and the Orioles had a quick 3-0 lead.
Red Sox Storm Back
Yovani Gallardo (13-11, 3.42 in 2015) is a veteran right-hander who showed that sometimes even a group of minor leaguers can be a hand or bat full.
The Red Sox loaded up the bases in the top of the second on a Craig walk, Leon single and Devers walk. They did not waste this sudden generosity by Gallardo. Dubon singled for one run and Miller bounced into a double play for a second run. Betts singled to tie it up and Bradley hammered a home run for a five spot and a lead.
The Orioles loaded them up in the bottom of the second and another test was in store for Haley. Machado – he of 35 home runs in 2015 – was up with one gone and Haley got a called third strike. The ever dangerous Davis then fell victim for a second time to a strikeout.
The Red Sox continued to abuse Gallardo’s serves in the third. Walking the leadoff batter is never a good sign and David Murphy got the free pass and quickly scampered to third on a Craig single. Leon hit a sac fly and another run was posted before Devers and Dubon fanned.
Haley got touched up again in the third with a culprit being a walk to Alvarez with one out. Up stepped Hardy and the long arching shot drifted well over the center field fence to make it 6-5 after three innings.
And the beat went on for the Red Sox in the fourth with a Betts single and then a Mookie swipe of second base for his second steal of the season. With two outs Chris Young lifted a shot to left center that barely stayed in the park for an RBI and a double.
Here Come The O’s
Carlos Marmol was once a very impressive bullpen operative who is attempting to get back to the form of yesteryear. Marmol’s performance will most certainly send him elsewhere. A pair of walks and a hit loaded the bases for a wild pitch and one run and Marmol then walked Davis and the next walk was John Farrell to mercifully get Robbie Ross in the game to deal with a bases loaded and no out situation. Ross escaped with only one run allowed on a force out for an impressive finish to an inherited mess.
Roenis Elias is being tested for a place in the bullpen or rotation and the grade today was an F and that is kind. The heart of the O’s order enjoyed a helping of meatballs as Adam Jones singled and Machado and Davis went back-to-back long ball contest and both were exceptionally long. Home run derby was not over. Paul Janish had an infield single to third and Jonathan Schoop followed with a single. Audry Perez then blasted another meatball down Broadway for a three spot and the third home run of the inning off the beleaguered Elias. Another hit followed by a walk and Elias was gone and probably over to the minor league camp.
When Will This End?
Into the top of the eighth and a three-hour game. Both teams had combined for 26 hits and ten walks as the inning started. Dubon singled and Miller walked and with two outs Franklin Guzman lined a single for another Red Sox run and the inning ended with the Red Sox down 13-8.
Chandler Shepherd was the next sacrifice offered up to the Orioles and Shepherd gave up three more runs but did not allow a home run.
* Joe Kelly now is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA for the spring.
* No report on the condition of the treadmill Pablo Sandoval was using.
* Game time temperature was (yawn) 80 degrees.
* Very nice bunt hit by Betts.
* Every Orioles starter had a hit.
* Craig is hitting .345.
Machado and Davis hit 82 home runs between them in 2015 and Haley fanned both back-to-back with the bases loaded. That is something that will be in family lore for generations. The final line was three innings, six hits, five runs, two walks and three K’s. The kid survived and gets an A.
Marmol ( 0 IP, H, 2 R, 3 BB, WP) will be somewhere not named Boston after the disaster he created. Ross (2 IP, K) certainly cemented his place on the roster. Don’t overlook the fact Ross had six saves in six opportunities in 2015. Elias (0.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, BB) was somewhere betweenJohn Wasdin
in the most disheartening performance of the spring. Three (count ’em) home runs flew off O’s bats on the serves of Elias.
(1.1 IP, H) kept the hot hitting O’s in check. Shepherd ( IP, 5 H, 3 R) did nothing. Sloppy O’s baserunning saved another run.
The bats certainly provided some punch and a good portion of it was from players who will not be in Boston. Bradley’s home run was an impressive opposite field shot. Bradley’s stat line was 2-4, a run and two RBI. Betts (3-4, 2 R, RBI, SB) did just about everything offensively. Dubon (2-4, 2 RBI, BB, K) was a pest in the order for the O’s. Devers(2-4, R) and that was a nice visit from minor league camp. Leon (1-3, R, RBI) chipped in. Sox had 14 hits.