Once through the rotation

SARASOTA, Fla. - We’ve come full circle today. Brad Bergesen is back on the mound.

Bergesen started the first exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, and he’ll face the Boston Red Sox this afternoon in Sarasota.

I wonder if Red Sox fans will take over Ed Smith Stadium?

The players have another meeting this morning, so the clubhouse is closed to the media until batting practice ends. I’ll head over to the ballpark in a few hours, once everyone is on the field.

Mark Hendrickson will follow Bergesen to the mound. Jim Johnson, Michael Gonzalez and Clay Rapada also are scheduled to pitch.

Alfredo Aceves is starting for the Red Sox, who have split-squad games today. I’m guessing their A Team will remain in Fort Myers. Scott Atchison, Dennys Reyes, Jason Rice and Matt Fox also will make the trip here.

Bergesen allowed one hit in two scoreless innings on Monday. Guthrie also tossed two scoreless in the home opener against the Tampa Bay Rays, striking out one, but few people remember it because the Orioles clubbed five home runs off Andy Sonnanstine.

Chris Tillman allowed one run and three hits over two innings against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater. The next day, left-hander Brian Matusz walked one and struck out two in two scoreless innings against the Minnesota Twins, which led to wart-gate. And yesterday, Jake Arrieta was charged with one run - on the lost pop up - and two hits, with two walks, over two innings.

If Nick Green doesn’t lose that ball in the sun - and hey, it happens, especially in Florida - Arrieta goes two scoreless and allows only one hit.

As it stands now, Oriole starters have given up two runs in 10 innings. I did the math.

Bergesen could be stretched to three innings today, depending on his pitch count. It’s always about the pitch count.

Matusz flew back into Sarasota yesterday after having his wart removed by a laser procedure. He says there’s no pain or irritation in the finger, and he expects to make his next start on Tuesday.

It was a precautionary procedure, and while Matusz preferred to stay in camp, it made sense to eliminate the possibility of the wart breaking open during the season. And it prevents me from having to check on his wart periodically during the season. Nobody wants that to happen.

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