Murphy’s Late Blast Pulls O’s Ahead of Rival Red Sox; Bergesen Impresses…

This afternoon in Fort Lauderdale, the Baltimore Orioles downed the Boston Red Sox, 5-3, thanks to Donnie Murphy’s two-run homer in the eighth inning to break a 3-3 tie in Grapefruit League Action.

Once again, a young pitcher caught the eye of O’s fans and team personnel, as today the honor belonged to Brad Bergesen. The pitcher who had an amazing season in Bowie in 2008, threw three shut-out innings in which he gave up four hits, struck out three, and walked none..

Hearing the radio broadcast while telecommuting at home, Bergesen did one thing really well — throw strikes. One might think that he’ll be sent to Norfolk to start out the season; however, with the way he’s looked this spring, it may be hard for Dave Trembley to deny Bergesen a sport on the roster.

James Johnson came in the fourth inning in relief of Bergesen and gave up a run during the frame to Boston’s Nick Green as he plated Jeff Bailey with a double; thereafter, Chris Ray continued his comeback as he threw a scoreless fifth inning. Much like with some of the young arms, the battle between Ray — as he recovers from injury — and Sherill for the closing duties should be one to watch.

Then again, no matter who wins the closing job, the Orioles should have a fascinating two-headed monster with Ray and Sherrill at the end of games.

Chris Waters earned the win as he went three innings; however, he gave up a two-run homer to Ivan Ochoa in the seventh.

Baltimore’s Brian Roberts, Luke Scott and Gregg Zaun each drove in runs. Each Oriole starter had a hit except Roberts.

I used to be utterly bored by Spring Training, and thought that for the most part it went too long; however, the competition in the Orioles camp down in Fort Lauderdale has been extremely interested and I’ve paid attention it pretty much every day now.