FORT MYERS, Fla. - These Orioles are a scrappy bunch.
Jonathan Schoop had a two-run double in the top of the ninth, Buck Britton had an RBI single and Christian Walker added a two-run single, as the Orioles tried to pull off another come-from-behind victory. But Xavier Paul struck out to complete the Red Sox's 8-6 victory at JetBlue Park.
The Orioles batted around in the inning. Mike Yastrzemski, who grounded out in his first at-bat, drew a walk and hustled to third on Walker's single.
Eduardo Rodriguez surrendered four runs in two innings, but manager Buck Showalter noted how the left-hander was victimized by a couple of fly balls that would have been outs in other ballparks, and a plate umpire who twice failed to call a third strike on David Ortiz.
"Five outs. It was pretty clean for the most part," Showalter said.
"You've got to take the outing for what it is. I liked it. It was good. He threw two pitches right down the (middle) that weren't called a strike."
Starter Brian Matusz had his changeup working for him today, as both pitcher and manager noted.
"Good feel with his changeup," Showalter said. "From a starting capacity, I think it helps him with the right-handed hitters. He had a plus changeup and that's something he wanted to work on today."
Yastrzemski scored as a pinch-runner in the sixth before coming to the plate twice.
"I got to see him a couple times in Aberdeen last year," Showalter said. "He's a real fundamentally sound guy who can play all three (outfield positions). Good defender. You can tell he's pretty polished.
"Michael's impressive. Some guys really like him. He's one of those guys who just keeps surviving at a different level, and next thing you know, they're in the big leagues. He's a guy they say you can trust. It was good to get him over here."
Josh Hart pinch-ran in the ninth.
"I made sure I got Josh out there, let him make an appearance," Showalter said.
Showalter continues to be impressed by Brock Huntzinger, who retired all three batters that he faced in the third inning. Showalter got him into the game early to critique him against right-handed hitters.
Delmon Young had two hits today, including a double.
"Delmon can hit," Showalter said. "He's probably in as good a shape as he's been in in a long time. You bring in guys who have been around, they know the gig. They're not waiting to get their timing. They come in here with that mentality that every day is a chance to make an impression."
Young figured to be the primary right-handed designated hitter after signing a minor league deal in January. Could Nelson Cruz's arrival could push him off the roster?
"He can still make the club. He can still be the DH against left-handed pitching, just like he was before. Nothing's changed there," Showalter said.
"We're still looking for that guy, because Nellie's going to play (left field) against left-handed pitching, at least."