Gomes, Vazquez go deep, but Sox lose slugfest
Middlebrooks adds three RBIs, while Bradley stays hot with two hits, two RBIs
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Powered by a strong wind, the Orioles and Red Sox engaged in a slugfest Monday afternoon, with the O's coming out on top, 12-9, at Ed Smith Stadium.
With the game tied at 9 in the seventh inning, J.J. Hardy connected on a three-run shot -- Baltimore's fifth homer of the game -- to put the O's ahead to stay.
Boston catcher Christian Vazquez started the homer parade with a two-run homer off Orioles starter T.J. McFarland in the second, and the O's responded with Wilson Betemit's three-run game-tying shot in the bottom of the frame.
Betemit, who had four RBIs, exited in the fifth with a right knee ligament sprain and will be reevaluated further on Tuesday. The O's designated hitter was carted off the field and wearing a brace.
Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, who participated in the World Baseball Classic, connected for his first two spring homers, while Matt Wieters hit a solo shot in the fourth off Red Sox bullpen hopeful Clay Mortensen.
Boston starter Graham Godfrey was tagged with six runs on nine hits over three innings, while McFarland allowed four runs on eight hits with five strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. The Orioles' Rule 5 Draft pick, McFarland made his first spring start Monday as the organization tries to find a way to keep him in either a starter or relief role.
Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes blasted a two-run homer off Orioles closer Jim Johnson in the seventh and third baseman Will Middlebrooks chipped in with a pair of RBIs. Outfield prospect Jackie Bradley continued his torrid spring, going 2-for-2 with two RBIs off the bench and raised his Grapefruit League average to .444.
Up next: The Red Sox have an off-day on Tuesday, but John Lackey will pitch in a Minor League game at 1 p.m. ET at JetBlue Park that is free to the public. Boston resumes action with Wednesday's 1:35 p.m. home game against the Marlins. Lefty Jon Lester, who is expected to soon be named the Opening Day starter, gets the start in that one. Daniel Bard will work out of the bullpen.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.