The Sox would grant Jon Lester an early 1-0 lead in his first official start of the spring. Nate Spears and Dustin Pedroia got them off to a hot start, hitting back-to-back singles to start the game before Ryan Sweeney added a two-out base knock of his own to score Spears from second.
Lester would end up giving the run back quickly. Robert Andino, once again playing the role of the proverbial thorn in Boston's side, drew a leadoff walk, stole second, and then scored when Adam Jones' ground ball found a hole to tie the game at 1-1.
The Sox would jump right back on top, however, in the second. Cody Ross led things off with a single, and then survived a pickoff play thanks to an errant throw from first. Lars Anderson would walk behind him, setting up Dustin Pedroia for a 2-out double to score both runners. The Sox may have struck for more, but Pedroia was gunned down at home on a Jacoby Ellsbury single to end the inning.
While Jon Lester would continue to give up walks--two more in the second and a fourth in the fourth--he would manage to escape without suffering any further damage thanks to some ground outs and strikeouts. His four innings represent the longest outing yet for a Red Sox pitcher.
Aaron Cook would face the same control problems as Lester, walking two batters in two innings while Zach Phillips and Chris Tillman settled things down on the mound for the Orioles, but still the Sox would manage to avoid taking any more damage.
The same could not be said for Baltimore. Cody Ross, Ryan Lavarnway, and Lars Anderson would all reach base to start the seventh inning, scoring a run in the process before another came across when the Orioles failed to turn a double play on Oscar Tejeda's ground ball. The final strike would come in the ninth, when Will Middlebrooks and Ryan Lavarnway each singled, setting up Christopher Hee for one last RBI.
Cody Ross and Dustin Pedroia continue to tear the cover off the ball, going 4-for-5 tonight leaving their averages north of .500 and .400 respectively.
And how about the big-name prospects? Will Middlebrooks' hit brings him up to .400 as well, while Ryan Lavarnway singled and walked to make his figure .333. Batting averages, I know, but sometimes you've gotta make do in spring training, and it's hard to be bad with a .400 average.
Boston pitchers continue to struggle with control early on in the season, with Jon Lester and Aaron Cook contributing six in six innings today. It's still early, but it would be nice to see them come around sooner rather than later.
Replays of certain events from the last regular season game these two teams played against eachother. Why oh why?