Sarasota, FL — The Baltimore Orioles scored two runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to tie the visiting Boston Red Sox 3-3 in pre-season action yesterday afternoon.
In Spring Training, MLB teams only play one extra frame in the event of a tie.
The Red Sox took a 3-1 lead into the tenth at Ed Smith Stadium, the Orioles’ Grapefruit League home field, but reliever Oscar Villareal couldn’t hold it, and gave up a two-run homer to O’s short stop Ryan Flaherty to deadlock the game.
No Red Sox frontline player made the trip from Fort Myers to Sarasota for the game, however. Jackie Bradley Jr., Jacoby Ellsbury’s presumed heir apparent, started in center field. Backup catcher Ryan Lavarnway was the DH and went 0-5. David Ross (signed as a free-agent from the Atlanta Braves to bolster the catching position) was behind the plate for the Sox.
Orioles starter Zach Britton, who is trying to break in to the team’s regular season starting lineup, tossed three and two-thirds scoreless innings and allowed one hit. Clay Mortensen for the Sox, who is also trying to make the big club, also pitched three innings of scoreless ball, giving up two hits.
Other highlights: Red Sox prospect Bryce Brentz, who in February accidentally shot himself in the leg, homered in the fifth inning off of Luis Ayala to give his team a 1-0 lead. The Orioles tied the game in the bottom of the inning, however, when Nate McClouth came around to score on a Brian Roberts single. The Red Sox scored two runs in the top of the 10th, including a solo homer by left fielder J.C. Linares. It looked like they had the game wrapped up until Ryan Flaherty’s heroics.
Starting Sox left fielder Mitch Maier appeared to possibly injure his wrist making a diving catch and later left the game in favor of Linares.
Built in 1989, Ed Smith Stadium was completely renovated for the Orioles, who began playing there in 2010. The former tenant, the Cincinnati Reds, left Florida altogether and moved to Arizona for Spring Training.
Going into today’s action, the Orioles have a 11-5 Spring Training record (6-2 at Ed Smith Stadium), and the Red Sox are 10-9, with a 7-3 record in away games. The Orioles had a strong 2012 campaign, with a 93-69 record. They defeated the Texas Rangers in a Wild Card matchup, but then lost to the New York Yankees in five games. In 2012, the Orioles had an unprecedented record for success in one-run ballgames (29-9) and in extra innings (16-2).
As everyone knows, the Red Sox imploded in 2012 under then-manager Bobby Valentine and seek to bounce back under the more statesmanlike John Farrell along with the addition of various role players rather than high-priced free agents. The Red Sox finished with a 69–93 record in 2012, dead last in the American League East.
[Photos by Robert Jonathan]