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Red Sox Defeat Overshadowed By Will Middlebrooks' Injury Scare

The Red Sox lost, but Will Middlebrooks' injury scare dwarfed events on the field.

J. Meric

The Red Sox fell 5-3 on a night which could have been described as a mix of positives and negatives but for the overwhelming specter of an injury to Will Middlebrooks.

The scare took place in the first inning when Will Middlebrooks left the game after an awkward check swing. While the team is saying that it's just soreness, and the third baseman's meeting later that night with the press seemed encouraging, it was certainly a frightening hour or two, and we're still not completely out of the woods yet.

Still, there was a game to be played, and for a while the Red Sox were doing a pretty good job of it. Franklin Morales enjoyed a strong start to his spring, getting three quick outs in the bottom of the first before handing the ball off to Joel Hanrahan. Boston's closer would prove less effective, throwing high enough for Matt Wieters to get good wood on the ball and single to center in the second at bat of the inning. That would not have been a problem had it not come directly after errant throws from both Pedro Ciriaco and Jarrod Saltalmacchia that allowed Adam Jones to reach base, steal second, and then take third.

As it was, the Orioles took a 1-0 lead, but it would not last long at all. A wild Daniel Schlereth sparked a two-out rally himself by hitting Shane Victorino, with Pedro Ciriaco making amends by capping it off with an RBI single. Then, in the top of the fourth, it was Jonny Gomes givin the Red Sox a lead with a towering shot to left field off lefty Zach Britton. If he'd flipped the bat, you could've been forgiven for thinking that was Cody Ross' work.

A downright filthy Koji Uehara would bring the game into the middle innings, where the Andrews Bailey and Miller provided a pair of solid frames. In the end, though, it would be Junichi Tazawa who allowed the Orioles to take the lead back, allowing his shaky start to the spring to get longer by allowing a pair of runs including a homer to Chris Davis that just cleared a leaping Gomes in left. The Orioles would add another pair of runs off of Drake Britton--these significantly more cheap in nature--and hold the Red Sox to just one of their own as they wrapped up the win.