FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Red Sox scored twice off Daniel Schlereth and had the bases loaded with one out when Adam Russell replaced him. Russell let all three inherited runners score, and Jackie Bradley Jr. singled to tie the game 7-7.
Schlereth was charged with five runs. He’s been scored upon in his last five appearances, allowing nine runs in five innings.
Danny Valencia homered off Terry Doyle with two outs in the top of the ninth, his first of the spring, to give the Orioles an 8-7 lead. It was an impressive shot to left field.
Kevin Gausman tossed two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out three.
Update: Daniel McCutchen struck out two and stranded the tying run in the ninth, as the Orioles held on for an 8-7 win.
Brian Roberts made his first road trip today, sharing a ride with Nate McLouth.
“I didn’t ride the bus. Let’s not get crazy,” he said with a grin.
“I actually enjoy going on the road in spring training. I don’t mind it whatsoever. You get there, you get dressed, you go on the field, you do your stuff and you play the game. Nate and I rode down together. We had a good time talking about the game and talking about life. You get to do some things you don’t always get to do when you’re at home. I enjoyed it. I have no problem with it. I look forward to playing a couple days in a row.”
Roberts singled, walked, drove in a run and stole a base in four plate appearances. He’s scheduled to start again Wednesday and Thursday in Sarasota.
“I think today was a big step,” he said. “I felt really good. I felt confident in getting on the bases and running and being aggressive. I think my mindset has continued to get better and better every day, and I continue to get more and more confident in what I’m doing in every aspect of the game. And the speed of the game is starting to come back and I’m starting to slow everything down more and more. I think part of it is playing multiple days in a row and getting used to trying to get prepared to go out there and play a whole bunch of games.
“I think if I get 600 at-bats, I’ll do the same things I always did. I’m not a different player, I just missed a couple years. I really believe that you’ll see, hopefully if I get that, the same numbers and stats that I always have.”
Roberts has stolen bases by diving into the bag twice and going in standing. He also attempted a feet-first slide this spring and was thrown out.
“I’m trying to cover all my bases. Hopefully, more standing. Standing is good. I like standing,” he said, another smile creasing his face.
“I think the more you do it, the more confident you get, and I think I’m really getting there. I didn’t feel that way last year. I feel like when I get on now, I want to run and I want to do those things. I’m confident that there won’t be any problems, and that’s a much better place to be than I was at last season.”
Brian Matusz referenced Roberts while talking about his five-inning start.
“I think me and Tea (Taylor Teagarden) worked well together,” he said. “First couple of innings, trying to do a little too much. Felt like my command was pretty good for the most part, but was able to get into a good rhythm as the game went on and working the curveball and change-up pretty well. Was able to get some outs in big situations. B-Rob making the double play in that one inning was huge. Then, being able to get out of that jam in the fifth with runners on first and third and one out.
“At times, I feel I’m throwing too many strikes and gave up a couple of two-strike hits today. I’d like to bury the slider a little better, get that change-up down in the zone, but for the most part I was able to find a rhythm and find consistency out there.”
Matusz threw 58 of his 75 pitches for strikes. He’s only walked two batters in back-to-back starts covering nine innings.
“Very important, being able to prevent free bases,” he said. “The strikeouts will come with being able to make quality pitches. The walks are the big thing. To be able to let the defense play, especially with the guys we have back there. We have a solid defense, so just being able to attack the zone and working ahead in the count.”
Matusz, the first Orioles pitcher to go five innings this spring, remains in the thick of the fifth starter competition.
“I’m pulling for all the guys,” he said. “I knew coming into spring it was going to be a competition and we got some quality arms and qualified starters. It’s fun to have that competition in spring and guys pushing each other, wanting to do better than the next guy. We’ve all got each other’s backs and we’re all working hard together, so it’s great to see success from all the starters.
“For me, I’m taking the ball when I get it and taking advantage of every opportunity, and going out and making pitches and going out and taking it start by start. For me, I have the mentality of wanting to build up pitches and innings and be a starter this year. That’s my mentality, taking advantage of the opportunity when Buck (Showalter) gives you the ball.”
What if Matusz is told that he’s going back to the bullpen?
“You know, that’s really not on my mind right now,” he said. “My focus is working out in the weight room with Brady (Anderson), staying on my program and just getting stronger and staying in good shape and keep competing and let those things fall into place.”