In a game that took a little over two hours to complete, the Red Sox fell to the Orioles by a final score of 6-2 at Ed Smith Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. With the loss, Boston drops to 12-9-4 in Grapefruit League play.
Chris Sale struggled in his third start of the spring for the Sox. After not giving up a single run in his first two outings, the veteran left-hander got shelled for six runs on nine hits and one walk to go along with two strikeouts over five innings of work.
The Orioles got to Sale right away in their half of the first thanks to a pair of solo shots from Adley Rutschman and Ryan Mountcastle. An inning later, Adam Frazier and Ryan O’Hearn both reached base with no outs before being driven in on an RBI double from Jorge Mateo and a two-run single from Kyle Stowers. Mountcastle scored Baltimore’s sixth and final run in the third when Frazier grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
Despite these difficulties early on, Sale was at least able to end his day on a solid note by putting up a pair of zeroes in the fourth and fifth innings. The 33-year-old southpaw retired six of the last seven batters he faced to finish with a final pitch count of 70. He will make one more Grapefruit League start before taking on this same Orioles team at Fenway Park on April 1.
Offensively, Boston’s only two runs of the afternoon came in the middle and right after Sale’s outing came to a close. To lead off the fourth inning, Adam Duvall took Baltimore starter Adam Duvall deep to left field for his fourth ome run of the spring. Duvall struck again in the sixth, this time leading off with a hard-hit double off Irvin and then scoring on another double off the bat of Daniel Palka.
That sequence of events trimmed the Orioles’ lead down to four runs at 6-2. From that point, John Schreiber and Zack Kelly, who both pitched in Monday’s loss to the Pirates, combined for two scoreless frames out of the Red Sox bullpen. Oddanier Mosqueda, who is competing with Ryan Sherriff for a spot on Boston’s Opening Day roster, followed suit by stranding one runner in an otherwise clean eighth inning.
Down to their final three outs in the ninth, Jorge Alfaro laced a one-out double off O’s reliever Reed Garrett before minor-leaguers Miguel Ugueto and Eddinson Paulino each struck out to put the finishing touches on a 6-2 loss for the Red Sox.
Duvall stays hot
Following a 2-for-3 performance in which he scored his team’s only two runs on Tuesday, Adam Duvall is now batting .278/.386/.667 with four home runs and eight RBIs in 15 games (44 plate appearances) this spring.
In addition to Duvall, Daniel Palka and Niko Goodrum also enjoyed two-hit days at the plate. Goodrum, however, did not have the best of times defensively at shortstop.
Next up: Houck vs. Ryan
The Red Sox will return to Fort Myers on Wednesday to host the Twins in Game 4 of the 2023 Chairman’s Cup. Tanner Houck is slated to get the start for Boston while fellow right-hander Joe Ryan will do the same for Minnesota.
With a two-games-to-one lead already in hand, the Red Sox can take home the Chairman’s Cup with another win on Wednesday evening. First pitch from JetBlue Park is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
(Picture of Adam Duvall: Megan Briggs/Getty Images)