SARASOTA, Fla. - Tyler Wilson appears to have gone from rotation to long relief candidate. Whatever his role, he needs to continuing pitching as he did today against the Red Sox.
Wilson held his opponent to one run over four innings, striking out Brock Holt, Hanley Ramírez and Steve Selsky along the way. He allowed three hits and walked one batter.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter stated earlier today that he viewed Wilson more as a reliever now, though an option to Triple-A Norfolk would again make the University of Virginia product a starter. Wilson could sneak past Logan Verrett, the early camp favorite, for the long relief/swingman role from the right side.
Wilson retired the first six batters. Dustin Pedroia grounded out, Pablo Sandoval lined out, Xander Bogaerts flied out, Ramírez grounded out, Mitch Moreland grounded out and Holt struck out looking. Selsky led off the third with a home run to left-center field - no assistance needed from the wind - and Pedroia singled with two outs.
Selsky appeared in 24 games as a rookie with the Reds last season before the Red Sox claimed him off waivers.
Moreland singled and Holt walked with two outs in the fourth, but Wilson struck out Selsky on a breaking ball.
Wilson threw 13 pitches in the first and second innings. He threw 15 in the third, 12 of them for strikes, to raise his total to 41 and keep the bullpen quiet.
Wilson threw 14 pitches in the fourth to leave him at 55, including 36 strikes. It was his longest outing of the spring.
Verrett replaced Wilson in the fifth.
The mid-camp slump seems to have lifted. Wilson allowed one run and one hit and didn’t walk a batter in his first two appearances over five innings. He gave up eight runs and 11 hits in his next two appearances over 4 2/3 innings. Before today, he allowed one run and two hits in his last two outings spread over five innings.
Add it all up and Wilson has given up 11 runs, walked two and struck out 12 over 18 2/3 innings.
The Orioles tied the game in the third on Trey Mancini’s leadoff single, Craig Gentry’s fielder’s choice grounder, a wild pitch from Eduardo Rodríguez and a throwing error by Bogaerts on J.J. Hardy’s grounder.
Sandy León also was charged with an error as Gentry scored from second base despite Moreland’s throw beating him to the plate.
The Orioles scored four runs in the fourth to take a 5-1 lead. Mark Trumbo singled for his second hit, Jonathan Schoop singled and Welington Castillo followed with an RBI double. Mancini delivered a two-run double and he later scored on right fielder Bryce Brentz’s throwing error on Gentry’s single.
Got all that?
Mancini is batting .345 (19-for-55) with six doubles, three home runs and 13 RBIs. He’s got to head north with a five-man bench.
León greeted Verrett in the fifth with his first spring home run to reduce the lead to 5-2.
Update: Rough outing for Verrett, who’s charged with five runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning. Left-hander Brian Moran replaced him and let both inherited runners score, plus three of his own, the capper a grand slam by Leon.
Leon led off the inning with a home run off Verrett.
Moran walked the next batter and Bobby Bundy replaced him.
Update II: Moran is charged with a fourth run on Marco Hernandez’s RBI double off Bundy. The Sox sent 13 batters to the plate and scored nine runs to lead 10-5.
Update III: Trey Mancini doubled and scored on Craig Gentry’s triple in the sixth to reduce the lead to 10-6. Mancini is 3-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs.