Orioles lineup gives glimpse of offensive ideal in midgame rallies against Red Sox

Sarasota, Fla. — For an Orioles offense often criticized for not turning in big innings without the benefit of a home run, the fourth inning of Sunday's 10-8 Grapefruit League win over the Boston Red Sox provided a glimpse of what doing it the old-fashioned way might look like.

A steady stream of projected Orioles regulars created a four-run frame out of patience, plate discipline and having a plan at the plate to help turn around a 6-0 deficit and satisfy the announced 8,171 in attendance for the first sellout of the spring at Ed Smith Stadium.


Manager Buck Showalter said it's hard to read much into it, but "you like it.”


“You like to see that, the type of things you string together. When you're down 6-0, you're going to have to do it. I'm more concerned about making sure we're not down 6-0 a lot this year like we were last year. That's a thing that kind of wore on our club last year … down 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-0 early in games. We were able to do a lot of that in April, May and sometimes in June, but it kind of wore on our guys as the season went on. But it was good to see today."

The rally began when catcher Caleb Joseph pulled a ball down the left-field line that scooted off the glove of diving third baseman Rafael Devers and read the carom well enough to end up at second. He scored after the end of a tenacious at-bat by third baseman Tim Beckham, who blocked a breaking ball into short right field.

Second baseman Jonathan Schoop did the same to a pitch on the outer half of the plate, shooting it into right field to keep things moving. The two ultimately set the stage for shortstop Manny Machado, the star of camp so far, to yank a two-run double to left field to score them both.

Machado, who walked in his first two at-bats, has five extra-base hits while batting .643 this spring.

Center fielder Adam Jones poked a towering double down the right-field line to score Machado after Boston replaced reliever Chandler Shepherd with Matthew Gorst, and Trey Mancini walked before the inning ended.

In a baseball version of the "move the chains" offense in football, they also scored three runs in the third inning on a single by Schoop, a walk by Machado, a single by Jones, then fielder's choice RBIs by Mancini and first baseman Mark Trumbo.

The big blows came later, when Beckham hit his second home run of the spring in the fifth inning and first baseman Pedro Álvarez hit a two-run home run in the sixth.


That the Red Sox will pay nearly $75 million to their starting rotation and tens of millions more to their bullpen and didn't bring anyone who will be featured prominently in either somewhat mutes offensive display.

But for those who long to see what the Orioles' offense would look like when the power is a symptom of good at-bats as opposed to the main objective, the everyday lineup gave an early glimpse Sunday.

Around the horn

Showalter said he was impressed with Orioles left-hander Tanner Scott, who struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning, and Rule 5 pick Pedro Araujo, who allowed his first base runner of the spring but also had a scoreless inning in the third. ... The Orioles reassigned right-hander Eddie Gamboa and left-hander Jason Gurka to minor league camp, leaving them with 61 players in major league camp.