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Red Sox 6, Orioles 5: O's third-stringers can't top Boston's A-Team

It's just as well that today's game wasn't broadcast, because it was pretty silly. The Red Sox sent out their Opening Day lineup minus Adrian Gonzalez and the Orioles sent to Fort Myers a bunch of guys who hopefully won't get too many starts for the Orioles this year (possible exception: Nolan Reimold).

Chris Tillman made the start for the O's and while is final line of 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K doesn't look all that impressive, he really didn't have an awful day. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the bottom of the first inning for the Red Sox with a single, then Dustin Pedroia hit a ball that was ruled a single to third, but per a Peter Schmuck tweet, it was a liner that Josh Bell should have caught. After Kevin Youkilis singled in Ellsbury to give the Red Sox the lead, J.D. Drew singled in two more runs. The throw beat the second runner, Carl Crawford, but Jake Fox dropped the ball at the plate. It wasn't a banner inning for Fox, who also allowed Crawford and Youkilis to complete a double steal.

After that first inning things weren't looking great for Tillman, and he started off the second inning by hitting Jason Varitek (although we all know Varitek is capable of being a lying liar who lies about HBPs, so who knows). But after that he settled down and retired six straight batters to get through three innings.

In addition to Tillman, the Orioles used Jason Berken, Nick Bierbrodt, Josh Rupe, Chorye Spoone, and Mark Worrell on the mound. Berken allowed a double to Pedroia to lead off the fifth, and he came around to score on Bierbrodt's watch. Rupe pitched two good innings, allowing just one single in each. Chorye Spoone allowed one unearned run thanks to an errant pickoff throw and a fielding error by Bobby Stevens (no, you don't know who he is. Neither do I) at shortstop. The game ended with a walk-off Red Sox victory, but since it was Yamaico Navarro singling in Oscar Tejeda off of Mark Worrell, pardon me if I don't get heartburn over it.

Over on offense, John Lackey had the Orioles' number. He allowed a leadoff single to Matt Angle in the first inning, then didn't allow another base runner in his four innings pitched. The O's got on the board after he left with back-to-back doubles from Brendan Harris and Robert Andino in the fifth inning, followed by a Cesar Izturis single to score Andino. That made the score 3-2, and the O's added another run in the sixth from a bases loaded walk by Andino, one more in the 7th on an RBI double by Nolan Reimold, and a sacrifice fly by Andino to score Josh Bell in the 8th, who had tripled to start the inning. That tied the game at five, but it was all undone by the mighty Yamaico Navarro.

Tonight the real team takes the field at home at 7:05 vs the Yankees. That game will be broadcast on MASN and WBAL, so be sure to come back tonight during the game where the gamethread will surely be livelier than this afternoon's.