SARASOTA, Fla. - The quiet Baltimore Orioles spring training ended Monday afternoon.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Wilson Betemit, who had already driven in four runs with a three-run home run and sacrifice fly was on first base, having drawn a walk. With Manny Machado up, Betemit started running and when Machado popped to left, he tried to get back to first base.
Nearly at second, Betemit's right knee buckled, and he fell. Teammates, trainers and manager Buck Showalter all rushed to him.
He was carted off the field, fitted with a knee brace and taken for an MRI, which diagnosed a grade 2/3 tear of the posterior cruciate ligament. More information will be available today, but the injury is a serious one.
Betemit, who switch hits, was the Orioles' principal left-handed hitting designated hitter, and his position will be hard to fill.
"He's pretty down right now. As we are," Showalter said.
The manager left the dugout to walk to the right field clubhouse to spend time with Betemit.
Baltimore has several first basemen/outfielders who can take his place at DH: Russ Canzler, who was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk earlier in the day, Chris Dickerson, Lew Ford, Conor Jackson and Steve Pearce. Those four are on minor league contracts. Another minor league outfielder, Jason Pridie, was reassigned to minor league camp on Monday.
For the moment, Showalter didn't want to discuss alternatives to Betemit.
"We will talk about that if we lose him. I'm going to think positive thoughts. Obviously, it doesn't look good right now, but I'm concerned about Wilson the human being as opposed to what he does for our club," Showalter said.
MCFARLAND DEBUTS: T.J. McFarland got a start, and the Rule 5 draft choice allowed four runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings against Boston. He struck out five and walked none.
The Orioles beat the Red Sox 12-9 before 8,078 at Ed Smith Stadium.
McFarland was amped up for his first start and because the game was on ESPN.
"I have nerves every time I go out to throw. You usually can overcome them, they are good nerves. I am excited to pitch. But not any more or less than there usually is. I was able to calm myself before the game and just go out there like any other day," McFarland said.
Showalter didn't grade McFarland harshly in part because there were heavy winds. Baltimore hit five home runs. Boston hit two.
"Obviously, a tough day to pitch, and it's not just the wind blowing," Showalter said.
The Orioles have to set their roster by 3 p.m. Sunday, and if they want to keep McFarland, they'll have to trade or option one of their bullpen members from 2012.
"We'd like to have him. We'll see," Showalter said.
Adam Jones hit two home runs, Betemit, J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters each had one.
ROAD TRIP: Showalter is taking nearly his entire team on a "Griswold family road trip" today. The Orioles play the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers, and he's taking three players, J.J. Hardy, Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters, who haven't made any road trips.
Markakis, who will DH, is scheduled to play for the first time since he was scratched with neck spasms on March 3.
It was questionable whether Showalter would take Adam Jones, who hasn't played on the road, either, although he participated in the World Baseball Classic. Chris Davis, Nate McLouth and Brian Roberts, are going, too. They played last Tuesday in Fort Myers against Boston.
Kevin Gausman will start against Liam Hendriks.
MINOR MATTERS: The Orioles acquired their second minor league pitcher in as many days on Monday night. They picked up Jairo Asencio from the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named later.
Asencio is 1-2 with a 5.23 ERA in 39 games with Atlanta, Cleveland and the Chicago Cubs.