FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Orioles rallied from a four-run deficit to tie today’s game, but the Red Sox reclaimed the lead in the seventh inning against Oliver Drake and held on for a 5-4 victory at JetBlue Park.
Most of the postgame chatter centered on Dylan Bundy, who settled down after a four-pitch walk to blank the Red Sox in the fifth inning in his first exhibition appearance.
“I thought T (Taylor Teagarden) did a good job with him,” manager Buck Showalter said. “That’s why I wanted him to catch one more inning with Dylan coming in. He got through it well. Dylan’s fine. Another good step for him, another thing to get exposed to before he goes down.”
Showalter made sure to get Bundy into the game while Boston’s regulars remained in the lineup.
“We talked about it on the way over here,” Showalter said of his conversation with pitching coach Rick Adair. “It was a good spot for him. Another part of the process.”
Bundy’s high school team in Owasso, Okla. will be in Sarasota this weekend for the Winter Haven Blue Devils Classic. Showalter has granted permission for the club to practice on one of the back fields Sunday and watch Bundy pitch in the morning B game - probably the right-hander’s final appearance before he’s sent to the minor league camp.
“We’re going to let them have field 2 back there,” Showalter said.
The B game also will include Tommy Hunter, Zach Britton, Jim Johnson and Willie Eyre. Maybe it should be reclassified as the A game.
“I was glad to see them come back and have a good inning,” Showalter said. “Dana was a pitch away from getting out of there in the first. Tough conditions. Winds blowing all over the place.
“Tilly’s capable of better in his first inning, but he came back out there and made some adjustments and got some things done. But at the major league level, we can’t constantly be going through those adjustments. Sometimes, you can’t work your way back from that.”
“One thing about a guy like Johnson, a lot of veteran guys get these alligator steps going around third and make you stop them. He gives you a chance to send him,” Showalter said. “A lot of guys, without naming names, but guys who have been playing a long time, will kind of shorten up their strides a little bit and try to talk you into stopping them.
“I was kidding Nick when he came back in. I said, ‘You ever pull for a ball to come right back to the left fielder?’ He said, ‘That was a long way around there.’
“He was telling me this is the first time he’s really been pain-free in about two years, so I’m excited for him. He’s gone through a lot. I hope it continues.”
Rule 5 pick Ryan Flaherty had two hits in Port Charlotte yesterday, and he went 1-for-3 with a run scored today. He also committed an error that saddled Tillman with an unearned run.
“You can see why our guys were high on him and the things that he can potentially bring,” Showalter said. “So far, so good. I think he’s off to a pretty good start. I know he’d like to have that throwing error back.”