SARASOTA, Fla. - Brian Roberts was thrown out trying to steal second base after his RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning. He went into the bag feet-first.
Let that be a lesson.
Roberts’ single tied the game, 1-1, and followed Bryce Brentz’s home run off Luis Ayala that briefly gave Boston the lead. Ayala struck out one batter.
Roberts is 2-for-3 today and 10-for-27 this spring.
Nate McLouth, leading off today, has doubled, walked and stolen a base.
T.J. McFarland got three groundball outs in the sixth inning - to shortstop, second base and third base - and three more in the seventh. Six up, six down. Nice outing.
Update: McFarland retired all nine batters he faced on seven ground balls, a fly ball and a strikeout. He’s tossed five scoreless innings in his last two outings.
We’re still tied with Mark Hendrickson on the mound in the top of the ninth.
Update II: Hendrickson worked out of a two-on, none-out jam, and we’re heading to the top of the 10th inning tied 1-1.
The Orioles committed two errors in the ninth, by first baseman Travis Ishikawa and catcher Chris Robinson, but Hendrickson got a double play, issued an intentional walk and struck out Travis Shaw on a pitch clocked at 75 mph.
Pretty sure that wasn’t the fastball.
Shaw was way out in front of it.
Clayton Schrader is pitching the 10th for the Orioles. He made the trip over here from minor league camp.
Update III: J.C. Linares led off the 10th with a homer off Schrader and with two outs, Ronald Bermudez hit an RBI single to give the Red Sox a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the final frame.
With two outs, Russ Canzler singled to give the Orioles life. He scored one batter later on Ryan Flaherty’s second big homer this week, a two-run shot that knotted it at 3-3. And the game would end in a tie.
Zach Britton has been working on his sinker and got the desired results today while allowing one hit in 3 2/3 scoreless innings.
“Yeah, it was really good,” said Britton, who retired six hitters on ground balls and got another one that resulted in an error. “It was something me and (Matt Wieters) had talked about, not overthrowing the sinker. I think when I overthrow it I bounce it a lot, and today I tried to stay easy with it and let the action do the work, and I got some good swings on it. You can tell when they’re hitting in the ground whether it’s doing its thing or not.
“I feel good. Slowed at the finish line a little bit. Hadn’t gone more than two, so the adrenaline’s pumping a little bit. I tried to overdo it that last inning with the two walks a little bit, but other than that, I felt pretty good. Worked on some stuff that I wanted to. Sometimes you have a plan and don’t execute it. Today, I was happy that I actually stuck with what I wanted to do, and that’s what spring training is all about.”
Britton was surprised to come back out for the fourth inning.
“I hadn’t gone more than two, so after the third, I didn’t know where my pitch count was,” he said. “I assumed it was fairly low. I felt good. He (manager Buck Showalter) asked me how I felt, said I felt, ‘Pretty good,’ so I went back out there for the fourth.
“You want to get extended this late in camp. It’s good for my body. I’ve been doing some stuff with Rick (Adair), trying to make some adjustments, so that’s why we were sticking with two innings. It’s nice to finally get extended a little bit.”
The Red Sox didn’t bring their regulars to this game. At least catcher David Ross and shortstop Jose Iglesias should make the team.
“I don’t think it matters,” Britton said. “You can’t control who they bring or who they don’t bring. It’s spring training. There’s obviously going to be guys in there who may be in the big leagues or not, but they all have a bat in their hands and they all can do damage. You just execute your pitches and that’s what we tried to do today, not look at who’s in the box or what not. Just go out there, you know, try and get better. This time out, I feel like I did that.”
Britton remains in the mix for the fifth starter’s job, but he hasn’t let it become a distraction.
“I feel good,” he said. “I knew that having kind of had the experience of competing for a spot in 2011, I knew that one of the worst things I could do was coming in in midseason form and just try to blow guys away. Spring training is spring training. What you do here most likely won’t translate to the season, numbers-wise. That’s just the way it works.
“I knew I should take my time, compete at the same time, work on things. I have a lot that I need to work on, so that’s what my goal is, to get better here and compete at the same time. I think Buck’s a smart enough manager to realize it’s not about numbers. There are different things he’s looking for, too.”