Álvarez hits another homer, but pitching struggles (O’s lose 7-4)

ORIOLES QUICK WRAP

Score: Red Sox 7, Orioles 4

Recap: The Orioles pitching struggled today. First, the scheduled starter Wade Miley was scratched due to flu-like symptoms. That made Vidal Nuño the starter. He allowed three runs and four hits over 1 2/3, with two runs scoring after he left the game. ... Right-hander Oliver Drake followed him and allowed three consecutive run-scoring hits during Boston’s four-run second inning. Drake allowed three runs in 1 1/3 and has a spring ERA of 10.61. ... Pedro Álvarez, in his third Grapefruit League start, went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, his second. Álvarez is 4-for-10 in Grapefruit League play and also went 2-for-3 in Friday’s B game with a double and home run.

Need to know: Álvarez had a tough chance in right field in the Boston second. Marco Hernandez hit a liner and Álvarez charged in for it. The ball short-hopped right in front of him and skipped away several feet as Hernandez scooted into second base. It was scored a double. ... Joey Rickard singled in the seventh and is batting .361. ... The Orioles are 1-2 versus the Red Sox and 12-10-2 overall this spring. ... The attendance of 10,157 is a sellout and was announced as a JetBlue Park all-time record crowd.

On deck: Tuesday vs. Blue Jays in Sarasota, 1:05 p.m.

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FORT MYERS, Fla. - Well, Pedro Álvarez hit another homer. Other than that it has not been a great day for the Orioles this afternoon at JetBlue Park.

Boston leads the Orioles 7-2 in the sixth inning. The Red Sox scored one in the first, four in the second, and one each in the third and fourth innings. The Red Sox had 10 hits - including five doubles - before the Orioles had recorded an out in the last of the fourth.

Before today’s game started, the Orioles announced that scheduled starter Wade Miley, suffering flu-like symptoms, would not pitch today. Miley drove over to Fort Myers last night but was sent back to Sarasota before the game. His next start is uncertain, but manager Buck Showalter said this should not affect his ability to pitch in the season-opening rotation, despite Miley having pitched just nine innings all spring. He hasn’t thrown over three innings in any game yet.

Pedro-Alvarez-gray-at-bat-sidebar.jpgDown 1-0 in the top of the second, O’s right fielder Pedro Álvarez sent an 0-1 pitch by Kyle Kendrick over the right field wall for his third homer in four games (one in a B game) since rejoining the team. Álvarez added a second hit, a long single off the right field wall in the sixth. Craig Gentry then pinch ran for him. Álvarez is 2-for-3 today and 4-for-10 in three Grapefruit League games. He also went 2-for-3 on Friday in a B game at Ed Smith Stadium.

Vidal Nuño, a candidate to make the opening day roster as a ‘pen lefty, made today’s emergency start. He went 1 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and three runs. Two runs scored after he left the game. Nuño had allowed just one run over five innings in his first three spring games.

Oliver Drake followed Nuño and continued to struggle, giving up hits to the first three batters he faced: a two-run double by Pablo Sandoval, an RBI double by Mookie Betts and an RBI single by Hanley Ramírez. Drake allowed three runs in 1 1/3 and has a spring ERA of 10.61.

Cody Satterwhite allowed a run in the fourth, Jefri Hernandez pitched a scoreless fifth and Stefan Crichton is now pitching in the sixth.

Nuño quotes: Nuño said he knew about an hour before the game he would make this start. He said it was not difficult to pitch, despite not knowing for sure he would start until about an hour before today’s game.

“I was falling behind in the count and just not finishing my two-strike pitches,” he said. “The last two outings have been difficult for me in not getting those two-strikes where I want to be. Just want to get back, look at film, see what I am doing wrong and get it right.

“I just have to see what I’m doing wrong. Maybe overthrowing with two strikes and that is not how I’ve been throwing the past year. Florida is different compared to Arizona. The humidity and the ball doesn’t spin the same. But I have to find a way to throw the ball where I want it.

“Coming back, second outing (since I returned from the WBC). A little frustrating, but it’s baseball. I’ll keep my head up and be prepared every day.”

Meanwhile, the Orioles pulled within 7-4 in the eighth. In the top of the seventh, they loaded the bases and Michael Choice walked to scored a run. In the eighth, minor league outfielder Cedric Mullins, who homered Friday in a B game, tripled to deep center. He scored on an Aderlin Rodriguez single.

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