ORIOLES QUICK WRAP
Score: Red Sox 8, Orioles 6
Recap: The Red Sox scored four runs in two innings off 20-year-old left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez to take a 4-0 lead. Brian Matusz tossed two scoreless innings and was most pleased with his changeup.
Need to know: Steve Clevenger has made a strong early push for the backup catching job, driving in a run with a two-out, base-loaded single to make him 3-for-6 with two RBIs this spring.
On deck: Monday, home vs. Twins, 1:05 p.m.
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Eduardo Rodriguez wasn’t fooling many of the Red Sox hitters today.
The Orioles’ young left-hander served up Mike Napoli’s two-run homer in the fourth inning and gave up two more runs in the fifth on a leadoff double by Jackie Bradley Jr., a wild pitch, an RBI single by Bryce Brentz, a single off the wall in left field by Jonny Gomes and an RBI bouncer by David Ortiz.
Mike Yastrzemski pinch-ran for Francisco Peguero, who reached on an error in the top of the sixth inning, and received a nice round of applause.
Yastrzemski, the grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, advanced to second base on Steve Pearce’s second hit of the day, took third on Nolan Reimold’s walk and scored on Steve Clevenger’s single to leave the Orioles trailing 4-1.
Manager Buck Showalter kept Yastrzemski in the game, putting him in right field.
Tim Berry will pitch the bottom of the sixth.
Brian Matusz allowed two hits in two scoreless innings and was pleased with his changeup.
“I felt excited to be able to get back out there on the mound again and get started being able to start from the windup,” he said. “I felt like in the first inning I was a bit over-excited and I wasn’t exactly hitting the spots like I wanted to, but overall felt good. I was able to throw all four pitches and fortunately had a good changeup today. That was the key to be able to be successful and get out of two innings. And I thought Clevenger did a great job behind the plate. called a good game and also did a good job of slowing the game down when we needed to by stepping out, coming in and talking, things like that. Overall, it was a good first start.
“It felt pretty good based off some of the swings on the changeup. Some swings and misses and a couple outs. Had a few fastballs guys were taking and a few pop-ups. So, giving up two hits that just found a hole, that’s the game of baseball.”
Ortiz flied to the warning track in center field in the first inning. He’s 1-for-20 with 12 strikeouts against Matusz in the regular season.
I wondered whether Matusz was thinking, “I own this guy” when Ortiz walked to the plate.
“Right now, it’s just spring training, trying to get all the pitches working, but every time he steps up there, I’m always knowing the matchup situation,” Matusz said. “I try to have that approach with every hitter, regardless who is up there at the plate, thinking I can get him out.”
Matusz still needs to get the wart lasered off his left middle finger.
“It’s kind of a bummer that it has to be pushed back, but that’s just how it goes with the weather that the East Coast has been having this year,” Matusz said. “Fortuntely, It’s not in a spot that’s affecting games and practices right now. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get things lined up with my pitching schedule, the weather and the doctors schedule and get this thing taken care of.”
Matusz assumes that he will pitch again on Friday, though he needs to check with pitching coach Dave Wallace.
Update: The Red Sox scored three runs off T.J. McFarland in the bottom of the eighth to take an 8-1 lead.
Former Oriole Brandon Snyder reached on an infield hit with two outs and the bases loaded, and Travis Shaw followed with a two-run double.
Tim Berry allowed a run in the sixth.
Pearce and Delmon Young each have two hits.