Hernandez's curveball keeps Boston in check

March 28, 2010|By Jeff Zrebiec | jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

SARASOTA, Fla. — - David Hernandez and four relievers shut down the Boston Red Sox in the Orioles' 6-1 victory Saturday before an announced sellout crowd of 8,037 at sun-splashed Ed Smith Stadium.

Bidding to win the Orioles' fifth starter job over Chris Tillman, Hernandez tossed five scoreless innings, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out six.

The Red Sox loaded the bases with no outs against Hernandez in the fourth, but the Orioles' right-hander, mostly relying on a buckling curveball, struck out the side, fanning Mitch Dening, Marco Scutaro and Josh Reddick.

Cla Meredith, Will Ohman and Alberto Castillo followed Hernandez with scoreless innings.

The Orioles scratched across two runs in the fifth inning off Boston ace right-hander John Lackey. Garrett Atkins hit a leadoff double and Ty Wigginton and Justin Turner singled to load the bases with no outs.

Cesar Izturis hit an RBI groundout and Felix Pie lined a single into right field to give the home team a 2-0 lead. The Orioles tacked on four more runs in the eighth on Scott Moore's sacrifice fly and Turner's three-run double.

Atkins finished with three hits for the Orioles, who are 10-14 in Grapefruit League play. On deck The Orioles will play the Toronto Blue Jays for the third and final time this spring today at 1:05 p.m. in Dunedin, Fla. Jeremy Guthrie will start for the Orioles, and his counterpart will be left-hander Ricky Romero. Guthrie, who has a 7.47 ERA in five starts this spring, faced the Blue Jays on March 18 and surrendered six earned runs on seven hits and three walks over three innings. Jim Johnson and Matt Albers are also scheduled to pitch for the Orioles. - JEFF ZREBIEC

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