SARASOTA, Fla. - I vowed to withhold this blog entry until Jake Fox’s ball landed, but I don’t have all day.
Fox crushed a 1-1 pitch from Astros starter Aneury Rodriguez and cleared everything in left field. Pretty much everything in Sarasota.
Fox’s fifth spring home run gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead. He also has eight RBIs.
Manager Buck Showalter gave Fox a start behind the plate and has been rewarded in multiple ways. Fox also threw out Bill Hall trying to steal to end the second inning.
Brad Bergesen issued two four-pitch walks and threw a wild pitch in the first two innings, but Brett Wallace lined into a double play and Fox made the big throw.
Bergesen threw only four of his 12 pitches for strikes in the first inning. He had a much easier time in the third, retiring the side on five pitches. He’s back out for the fourth with his pitch count at 30.
Instant update: The Astros put runners on the corners with one out on back-to-back singles, and they’ve tied the game on Jason Michaels’ fly ball to center.
Update II: Bill Hall’s two-run homer to left gave Houston a 3-1 lead.