By Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Sun
4:51 PM EDT, March 17, 2012
FORT MYERS, Fla.
Right-hander Armando Galarraga, who is hoping to make the Orioles after missing much of last season because of injury, tired after a solid early performance and ended up allowing four runs in four innings as the Boston Red Sox beat the Orioles, 7-4, in a split-squad game at JetBlue Park.
The Orioles and Red Sox ended in a 3-3 tie in their other contest Saturday at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota.
Galarraga cruised through the first two innings and allowed a run in the third before giving up four hits and three runs in the fourth.
“The first three innings were good, everything was down. Good location, breaking ball was good,” said Galarraga, who had thrown two innings in each of his first two spring appearances. “But in the fourth inning, I got a little tired. I threw like  pitches, and I have never thrown that for like four months. So it’s not an excuse, I feel like I needed better location.”
Orioles bench coach John Russell, who was acting as the club’s manager in Fort Myers, said he was pleased with Galarraga overall.
“Early, he was hitting his spots, keeping the ball down. He got some ground balls and that’s what he does when he keeps the ball down because he has good movement,” Russell said. “In the last inning, he started getting balls up late in the count, and that hurt him a little bit. But I was very encouraged by the first couple of innings.”
The Red Sox jumped out to a big lead in the fifth with three runs against Brad Bergesen, which included a towering homer by Cody Ross that cleared the Green Monster wall in left.
The Orioles scratched out just one run in five innings against Boston’s Josh Beckett, on an RBI single by Wilson Betemit in the fourth. Beckett allowed just two hits in the outing.
One bright spot for the Orioles was the first spring start by top hitting prospect Manny Machado, who batted ninth and played shortstop. He grounded out and walked twice in three at-bats.
He also got to face Beckett, whom Machado grew up in Miami watching when the right-hander pitched for the Florida Marlins.
“Great experience, I felt good out there, and I thought I had some good quality at-bats,” said Machado, 19. “[Beckett] is a helluva pitcher. He’s got good stuff. Hopefully, I will be seeing him soon.”
The Orioles scored three runs in the eighth to close the gap. Cory Aldridge and Matt Antonelli each had RBI singles, and Xavier Avery added a sacrifice fly.
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