Game update and more from Duquette (O’s lose 6-5)


Score: Red Sox 6, Orioles 5

Recap: Former Red Sox pitcher Alfredo Aceves gave up two runs in the top of the seventh inning, which began with the score tied 3-3, and Ryan Lavarnway homered off him leading off the eighth. Aceves surrendered two home runs in his previous outing. Brian Matusz retired all six batters he faced with three strikeouts. The Orioles scored twice in the fourth on four straight walks and a wild pitch. Nelson Cruz walked and doubled. Michael Almanzar had a two-run double with two outs in the ninth.

Need to know: Tommy Hunter may want to pitch around Will Middlebrooks. Hunter served up a home run to Middlebrooks on Saturday at Ed Smith Stadium, and it happened again here this afternoon, with the Red Sox third baseman jumping on the first pitching leading off the sixth inning.

On deck: Wednesday, home vs. Phillies, 1:05 p.m.

SARASOTA, Fla. - Tommy Hunter replaced Brian Matusz in the top of the sixth and Will Middlebrooks homered on his first pitch to give Boston a 3-2 lead.

It didn’t last long. Nelson Cruz doubled leading off the bottom of the sixth, and pinch-runner Jonathan Schoop later scored on J.J. Hardy’s grounder. We’re tied 3-3.

Hunter also gave up a single before getting a double play.

Alfredo Aceves is working the top of the seventh.

Update: Aceves gave up two runs to his former team, with Daniel Nava producing an RBI double and Jackie Bradley following with a triple.

Red Sox 5, Orioles 3.

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette met with reporters prior to today’s game to discuss Manny Machado’s contract renewal and dodge more questions about Ervin Santana.

He takes it in stride and in good humor.

“We would have liked to re-sign everybody,” Duquette said. “We were not able to come to an agreement with Manny, but for 0-3 year (of service time) players, the club has the right to renew the player contract, so we did that.

“Manny had a great year. The club appreciates the great year that he had and we’re recognizing it, that terrific year, with a $100,000 bonus for the Rawlings Platinum Glove award. We’re going to recognize Manny in an on-field ceremony when Rawlings comes to town the first home stand. Might not be opening day, might be the next day. We’re going to recognize our Gold Glovers and also Manny at that time.

“We appreciate the great work Manny did and now the job will be to get him to play ball for the 2014 season.”

Was Duquette concerned about Machado’s reaction to being renewed?

“The system is weighted more toward experienced players and we thought it was important to recognize Manny’s significant contribution, not just with ‘atta boys,’ but also with a bonus for his work,” Duquette said.

“The structure and the way it’s weighted that’s really an issue for the players and their union, not really an issue for the club. The club sometimes benefits from the structure and sometimes the structure goes the way of the player. That’s just the way the system works. We have a very precise and disciplined formula that we follow for 0-3 players and we’re consistent in applying the tenets of the structure. And we’re able to effectively communicate that with the players and the agents to understand that. Most of the time, it will result in a signed contract. In this case, it didn’t.”

Duquette would like to sign Machado to a long-term extension, but it’s a back-burner issue at the moment.

“That’s something we can revisit at any time,” he said. “We got Manny for what is it? Five years? We can certainly revisit that. It’s something we visited last year, but we can certainly do that in the future.

“Obviously, we would like Manny to stay here. Manny is going to stay with us for the foreseeable future, but beyond that we would be interested in a longer-term relationship.”

Does Duquette feel any pressure to lock up his young players long-term in the same manner as the Braves?

“We look at industry trends and players we have on the team and their value to the team,” he replied. “I think you have to look at each situation individually. I’m sure some of those long-term signings where players forego free agent years for fixed amounts and guaranteed amounts, they make sense for some players. I’m sure there’s some players on our club where they would make sense, too.”

The $100,000 bonus isn’t part of Machado’s 2014 salary.

“That’s a long process and it’s more of an internal process,” Duquette said. “That’s something we considered, but we have a very specific disciplined process that we follow. But still, the big thing is that the player is rewarded for good work and compensated properly through the industry. All of these contracts we feel fit into that category.”

Duquette confirmed that no progress has been made in extending J.J. Hardy, Chris Davis and Matt Wieters.

“No, not really,” he said. “We’ve been focused on putting our team together.”

So ... about Ervin Santana. Anything new on free-agent pitchers?

“No, not really,” Duquette said. “I guess the market is a little ... the market is interesting.”

The Orioles have a one-year offer on the table for about $13 million. As I wrote previously, they were willing to go three years and around $30 million, but Santana seems to prefer a one-year deal.

Duquette was asked whether Santana’s demands have changed now that more teams may be in play for his services.

“I don’t know,” he said. “We made a choice to sign Ubaldo Jimenez to stabilize our rotation and we went and signed (Suk-min) Yoon before that. Those are two veteran pitchers that we thought could help our club and we were able to get them on multi-year contracts that we thought were good for the club and we were comfortable with. We take a look at each case, but we did make a conscious choice to go sign Ubaldo Jimenez.”

Are the Orioles still negotiating with Santana’s agent?

“The club is always looking to add pitching depth,” Duquette said.

What about free-agent hitters?

“We take a look at all of them,” he replied. “I do like some of our young pitchers. Some of our young pitchers are doing well in camp. They should be able to come up and help us during the season. It’s pretty obvious after you see them that they have skills to do that, but they might need a little more experience.”

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