The Orioles play the Boston Red Sox this afternoon in Sarasota.
Or they’re playing a team in Red Sox uniforms anyway. Boston has a split squad today, and let’s just say they didn’t send their A lineup to Ed Smith Stadium. Or their B or C lineup.
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That’s OK, Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez is pitching at Twin Lakes Park against Boston’s Double-A squad. Manager Buck Showalter’s not a fan of having his rotation members facing AL East rivals at this point in spring.
It’s a little of a reach, since many of these lineups aren’t exactly littered with regulars. But Showalter has reasons for everything and they often work. Here’s Gonzalez’s take:
“We understand what is going on. We are trying to keep away from them as much as possible. So we understand what he is doing,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t mind at all. Buck knows what he is doing. That’s why he’s been around for a while.”
Gonzalez will throw roughly 55 pitches today – he wasn’t happy with the command of his breaking pitches in his outing Saturday against the Pirates in which he allowed four earned runs.
“Last time I didn’t pitch too well,” Gonzalez said. “A couple balls were up, most of them. So I’ll go down there and try to do a better job than I did last time in keeping the ball down and working on my breaking stuff.”
Right-hander Chris Tillman, who is dealing with abdomen soreness, threw a bullpen Thursday and felt good. He will throw two innings in minor league camp at Twin Lakes on Saturday. Wei-Yin Chen will pitch in a minor league game there Monday.
Here are the lineups:
Orioles: Nate McLouth 8, Brian Roberts 4, Matt Wieters 2, Chris Davis 3, J.J. Hardy 6, Wilson Betemit DH, Manny Machado 5, Chris Dickerson 9, Lew Ford 7. Zach Britton 1.
Red Sox: Brock Holt 4, Jose Iglesias 6, Jackie Bradley Jr. 8,Ryan Lavarnway DH, David Ross 2, Mauro Gomez 3, Mitch Maier 7, Drew Sutton 5, Bryce Brentz 9, Clayton Mortensen 1.