FORT MYERS, Fla. - Orioles manager Brandon Hyde has been waiting for a day when he could boast about the club’s pitching and defense. On the same day.
He found it this afternoon in Fort Myers, where the Orioles defeated the Red Sox 9-1.
Mike Wright shut out the Red Sox through the third inning. Yefry Ramirez allowed one run, on Xander Bogaerts’ homer, and two hits over three innings. He didn’t issue a walk and struck out two batters.
Wright hasn’t allowed a run in seven innings. Carlos Pérez threw out Gorkys Hernandez trying to steal second base after an infield hit to lead off the first inning and Wright retired the side in order in the second.
“I thought Mike was great,” Hyde said. “Threw the ball really well. I thought all of our pitchers threw the ball really well. We did a lot of really good things. Everybody threw the ball well, we ran the bases great. Loved our aggressiveness on the bases. And defense.
“I thought it was definitely our best day defensively. A lot of really nice plays in the infield. Hit the first guy on all the cuts. It was just a really sound day defensively overall.”
Rule 5 shortstop Richie Martin provided the top defensive play this spring while robbing Bogaerts in the second inning. He dived to his right to make a backhanded stop and threw across the diamond for the out.
He couldn’t have extended his body any farther to snatch the ball on one hop.
“He made a great play defensively,” Hyde said. “Besides that, every routine play that he had, he just did everything really, really well. I’m just looking for the guys to make the routine play and if you can make a spectacular play once in a while, great, but it’s the routine play that we’re pounding and Richie made all the routine plays today.”
“That play at third base was fantastic,” Hyde said. “A good day all around.”
The only small glitch today involved Trey Mancini, who walked off the field with assistant athletic trainer Mark Shires after DJ Stewart batted for him in the fourth inning. Hyde explained later that Mancini has a sore pinky finger.
“I’m not taking any chances,” Hyde said, “so I just pulled him out of the game to give him a breather, give him a couple days. I want him to be all the way right.”
In an impressive escape act, Ramirez gave up a leadoff triple to Cole Sturgeon in the sixth and stranded him to maintain a 6-1 lead. It grew to 8-1 in the seventh on Stewart’s two-run double.
The Orioles moved further ahead in the ninth after Vincej’s RBI single off Daniel Schlereth, who was in Orioles camp back in 2013.
Drew Jackson, the other Rule 5 infielder, was 3-for-4 and made a nice pickup and tag after taking Perez’s throw in the first.