Notes: Middle of Sox order locks on vs. Orioles

Notes: Middle of Sox order locks on vs. Orioles
March 25, 2013, 6:45 pm
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SARASOTA, Fla. --  The Red Sox Nos. 2-4 hitters – Jonny Gomes, Mike Napoli, and Will Middlebrooks – combined to go 7-for-10, with a home run, a double, three runs scored, four RBI, and a strikeout in Monday’s 12-9 loss to the Grapefruit League-leading Orioles Monday afternoon.
 
Gomes, who is now batting .283 this spring, going 13-for-46 in 16 games with a .340 on-base percentage and .457 slugging percentage, is satisfied with how his first spring with the Sox has gone.
 
“There are two things I really want going into and leaving spring and that’s healthy and happy, to tell you the truth,” Gomes said. “Definitely have 100 percent in both of those. I’m excited and happy. I’ve been through good ones, bad ones, power ones, no power ones. So numbers don’t really matter much but the feel is the most important as things get pretty close.”
 
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Clayton Mortensen, who appears to be in line for the Sox last bullpen spot, went one inning, giving up three runs on two hits, both home runs, and a walk with two strikeouts.
 
“On a day when conditions when any ball in the air is going be a little bit of an adventure, I thought he got an inning of work,” said manager John Farrell. “I’m not going to take too much from it. As he’s gotten consistent work I thought he’s thrown the ball better. Early on, I thought there was one or two outings when he had five or six days in between appearances when he was trying to get his arm strength built up but overall he’s  the pitcher we know him as and that is a pitcher who has some deception, can slow some hitters down with changeup and a different acting slider. He’s thrown the ball as he anticipated and can’t look past last year either. With each additional inning you’ll get better touch and feel. It was a chance to get him into the mound and no need to look too deep into this one.”
 
Mortensen, who is out of options, knows the Sox have a decision to make on him. But, for now he is not concerned about it.
 
“I’m definitely aware of it,” he said. “But it’s not in my control. I’m just trying to go out and pitch. Whatever happens happens. I can’t fight it one way or the other, if something were not to happen or happen. What can I do about it other than accept it and go from there? So it’s really not a huge factor in what I do every day. Whatever happens happens and we’ll find out here soon.
 
“I look at my situation, I got a good chance just like anybody else. I don’t go and compare myself to other people or anything like that. I look at what I’ve been doing, seeing if I’ve been getting people out, doing what they wanted me to do. And just say this is all you can ask for. Put the ball in their hand and we’ll see where the decision goes. So we’ll see.”

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Following the game, the Sox reassigned infielders Xander Bogaerts, Jonathan Diaz, and Drew Sutton to minor league camp. The Sox now have 39 players in big league camp, including 32 players from the 40-man roster, one on the 60-day disabled list, and six non-roster invitees.
 
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Felix Doubront started for Single-A Salem Monday afternoon against the Orioles’ Frederick Keys.  The left-hander went 5 1/3 innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on two hits and six walks with nine strikeouts, a hit batter, and a wild pitch.

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With a strong wind blowing out at Ed Smith Stadium, the Red Sox and Orioles combined to put on an offensive show that had a little bit of everything, including 21 total runs, 33  hits, seven home runs, a triple, six doubles, 18 strikeouts, and just 3 walks in 84 plate appearances.

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Infielder Pedro Ciriaco, who has not been in a Grapefruit League game since March 14 played five innings at shortstop in the minor league game. He went 1-for-4 with a double.

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The Sox have a scheduled off-day Tuesday, their last of the spring. John Lackey is scheduled to start a minor league game at the Sox complex.