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Red Sox-Orioles: Sox win, 5-4

The Red Sox have beaten the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 at Sarasota today before a record crowd at Ed Smith Stadium of 8,088. Hometown boy Casey Kelly got the win with two scoreless innings. Mark Wagner homered in the ninth to break a 4-4 tie. Angel Sanchez hit a key two-run triple in the eighth and Gil Valazquez drove in the tying run. Robert Manuel retired the O’s in the ninth to record the save.

4:03, top ninth, Red Sox 5, Orioles 4: Catching prospect Mark Wagner homered to left field in the top of the ninth to give the Red Sox a lead heading into the bottom of the ninth where Robert Manuel was trying to save the game.

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3:52, bottom eighth, Red Sox 4, Orioles 4 – Another good inning for Kelly, who is done now after two frames. He walked a batter, who stole second base which was good experience for Kelly from the stretch. He induced two grounders to get out of the inning.

3:41, top eighth, Orioles 4, Red Sox 4: We have a tie game here with Sox extras hitting gappers and really striking the ball as well as they have in this game. Angel Sanchez, who will likely be the starting shortstop at Pawtucket this season, stroked a two-run triple to the right-center gap. That was followed by Gil Valazquez’ game-tying RBI single. Sanchez could be making a case for himself as a backup shortstop in the big leagues if Bill Hall can’t convince the Sox brass he can backup there.

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3:23, bottom seventh, Orioles 4, Red Sox 1: Casey Kelly didn’t disappoint in his hometown today. He mowed down the Orioles’ extras 1-2-3, making a nice fielding play to retire Lou Montanez and reminding us all he was once a very good shortstop. He also retired batters with a pop out and strikeout. In other words, tough guy to get a good swing against. Kelly had a decent fastball and a very good curveball. Got a nice ovation when he left the mound.

3:07, bottom sixth, Orioles 4, Red Sox 1: Daniel Bard allowed a run when Pedro Floimon doubled to left field scoring a run. Bard was a tad erratic in his outing. Buchholz spoke to the media and said that except for getting a ball “on the the inner third” of the plate to Nick Markakis in the first inning which Markakis homered on with two outs, he felt he pitched well. Buchholz said he’s been working on pounding the lower half of the zone with his fastball and felt he accomplished that except for Markakis’ drive and on Adam Jones’ single up the middle in the second inning. He said about competition to make the starting five, “I’d rather compete for a spot than have it given to me.”

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2:29, bottom fourth, Orioles 3-1: While the score has remained stagnant, Sox pitching has picked up here in the third third and fourth. Scott Atchison struck out two in the third and Boof Bonser did the same in the fourth. Bonser is a favorite to take one of the bullpen spots and did nothing to jeopardize that striking out Cesar Izturis and Adam Jones.

2:08, bottom third, Orioles 3-1: Buchholz lasted two innings and allowed five hits, three runs. Not a great outing. He was relieved by Scott Atchison, who allowed a single in the third.

1:54, bottom second, Orioles 3-1: Two dirty innings for Buchholz. First four batters reached off Buchholz in second with the Orioles scoring two runs, one on Cesar Izturis’ infield chopper and Adam Jones producing the second run with a single up the middle. Jed Lowrie turned a double play at third on Ty Wigginton’s grounder. While Buchholz wasn’t exactly hit hard in the inning.

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1:43, top second, 1-1. Sox rallied to tie the score off Guthrie. Singles by Jeremy Hermida and Jed Lowrie and a walk to Tug Hulett loaded the bases. Shortstop Yamaico Navarro got the run in on a nice play at third by Miguel Tejada. After another walk to Aaron Bates re-loaded the bases, the Sox couldn’t get anything done as Ellsbury and Drew made outs to end the threat. Drew has hit two balls pretty hard for outs so far.

1:28 p.m., bottom 1st, 1-0 Orioles>: Tough inning for Buchholz though he escaped with one run – a Nick Markakis solo shot to right fied with two outs. Buchholz also walked a pair of batters, but got leftfielder Luke Scott to pop out to second base with two on and two outs.

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1:15 p.m., top 1st, 0-0: After Jacoby Ellsbury K’d to lead off the game, J.D. Drew stroked a long line drive to right field caught on the warning track by Nick Markakis. Victor Martinez singled to right field before David Ortiz looked at a called third strike to end the inning. A number of scouts are here to watch Clay Buchholz and Casey Kelly in particular. Kelly is expected to go two innings.

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