DONE AND DONE (3:40, END 9, 5-1 Orioles)
It’s all over, folks. The Red Sox fell to the Orioles this afternoon by a 5-1 score, with most of the damage done against Felix Doubront and Kris Johnson. On an unrelated note, the Sox reassigned two more players to the minor league complex in Johnson and Dustin Richardson. There are now 56 players still in major league camp.
GONER (3:12, TOP 8, 5-1 Orioles)
Scott Moore just hit a two-run shot off Felix Doubront.
LOWELL BACK (3:02, BOTTOM 7, 3-1 Orioles)
Though Terry Francona had predicted two at bats for Mike Lowell, the designated hitter got three today. He had seen just seven pitches in his first two chances, which ended in a strikeout and foul pop out. On a 1-1 pitch, Lowell lined the ball into left field for his first hit since his surgery. He jogged to first base, then was replaced by pinch runner Lars Anderson.
ORIOLES AHEAD (2:48, TOP 7, 3-1 Orioles)
Josh Reddick just made an outstanding sliding catch into foul territory with the bases loaded. Unfortunately for the Sox, the Orioles had the bases loaded, and scored on the sacrifice fly. That tied the score at 1-1. Kris Johnson is on the mound for his second inning of work. Justin Turner followed the sac fly with a double, bringing in two more runs.
OUT AT HOME (2:25, BOTTOM 5, 1-0 Sox)
Jacoby Ellsbury might not have gotten the chance, but fellow Oregonian Jed Lowrie did. Lowrie smashed a long ball off Orioles pitcher Radhames Liz, which eluded center fielder Felix Pie and rolled away. Lowrie was waved around third base as he ran for the inside-the-park homer, but was caught at home plate. (It looked like he might have touched home ahead of the tag, but it is hard to verify, as there are no replays.) You might remember that Triple A manager Ron Johnson was booed in a game earlier in spring training for holding up Ellsbury on what looked like a sure inside-the-park homer.
FIRST HIT (2:18, TOP 5, 1-0 Sox)
Daniel Bard just gave up his first official Grapefruit League hit, to Oscar Salazar. It’s his fourth game against major league competition. (He also pitched against BC and the Puerto Rico WBC team.) He did finish off the inning with no damage by striking out Blake Davis swinging.
NO RUNNING HERE (2:05, BOTTOM 4, 1-0 Sox)
If the plan was to see Mike Lowell run, he didn’t accomplish that this afternoon. After striking out in his first at bat, Lowell popped up on the foul side of first base in his second. He did a slow jog toward the base, and stopped halfway up the line.
NO NO-NO (2:00, TOP 4, 1-0 Sox)
Nick Markakis just broke up the team no-hitter going (yes, I know it’s spring training, and yes, I know it was through three innings) with a triple to right-center off Jonathan Papelbon. The Sox closer came on in relief of Clay Buchholz to start the fourth. Buchholz had thrown three perfect innings with two strikeouts. He threw 31 pitches, 24 strikes. Oh, and Papelbon got Matt Wieters to ground to first base to strand Markakis on third base.
BUCHHOLZ STAYS STRONG (1:45, MIDDLE 3, 1-0 Sox)
It’s another quick inning for Clay Buchholz, as he got all three batters (Lou Montanez, Oscar Salazar, and Blake Davis) on grounders.
AND AGAIN (1:32, MIDDLE 2, 1-0 Sox)
Clay Buchholz, master of the Orioles, just got through a second 1-2-3 inning, finishing off Scott Moore on a wicked curveball that went for a called third strike. He also struck out super prospect Matt Wieters swinging.
UNHEALTHY SWING (1:25, END 1, 1-0 Sox)
So it wasn’t exactly a banner debut moment for Mike Lowell. With runners on second and third, Lowell struck out swinging on three pitches. He took the first pitch from Brian Bass for a strike, fouled the second one off, then reached out on an awkward swing for a low and outside pitch that couldn’t sniff the strike zone. The plan was for him to get two at bats in this game.
HEALTHY SWING (1:21, BOTTOM 1, 1-0 Sox)
Rocco Baldelli looked pretty good on that swing, a gapper to left-center that bounced over the short wall for a ground-rule double. That scored Jacoby Ellsbury (walk) and moved J.D. Drew to third base for Mike Lowell in his first at bat since his hip surgery.
ONE, TWO, THREE (1:12, MIDDLE 1, 0-0)
Clay Buchholz just got through the first inning unscathed, with one fly out and two ground outs. If Brad Penny isn’t ready to start the season — though the team doesn’t need a fifth starter until the second turn through the rotation — Buchholz could be a candidate to spot start for him. So, too, could Justin Masterson and Michael Bowden.