Once again, the pitching stood out for Baltimore as they beat their division rival, the Boston Red Sox, in Grapefruit League action, 5-1. The Orioles snapped a two-game losing streak, and a standout performance by Radhames Liz — who pitched out of the bullpen on Tuesday — tossed three innings of shut-out ball, along with a big seventh inning led them to victory.
The offense for the Orioles came from Scott Moore — perhaps besides Matt Wieters, the hottest bat on the team — hit a two run homer in the eighth inning, along with a two-run double by Justin Turner and a sacrifice fly by Oscar Salazar in the seventh inning off reliever Kris Johnson gave them all they needed.
Brian Bass started the game and gave up a run in 2 2/3 innings of work, and was yanked in favor of Wilfredo Perez who pitched 1/3 of an inning; thereafter, Liz pitched his portion of the game. After Liz was pulled, Bob McCrory, Kam Mickolio and Ross Wolf each pitched an scoreless inning.
For Boston, Clay Buchholz — who shut out Baltimore in 2007 — finally showed some flashes of brilliance after struggling last season by tossing three scoreless innings.
The real big story from today was not the game; however, it was concerning the status of Koji Uehara. It looks like Uehara will indeed miss a start after apparently straining his hamstring, and the team will have him sit out of conditioning drills for now. He struggled in his last grapefruit start and it might be a byproduct of the injury; however, he downplayed it…
Uehara suffered the injury while covering first base during the second inning of the Orioles’ 9-8 loss to the New York Mets. Uehara was scheduled to pitch four innings, but lasted only two, allowing three earned runs on four hits and two walks.
“It’s not really pain, just a little tightness, a slight strain,” Uehara said through interpreter Jiwon Bang. “One or maybe two [starts]. We’ll wait a week and see how it improves.”
Orioles manager Dave Trembley said that head athletic trainer Richie Bancells told pitching coach Rick Kranitz that he didn’t think Uehara’s injury “was anything to be concerned about.”
At the moment, the injury may be minor — however, a hamstring injury sometimes is troublesome and does not heal properly. Hopefully, Uehara’s setback does not manifest itself into something else, as he’s a huge part of the Oriole rotation in 2009.