Pitchers Have Limited Success Against Boston's Regular Lineup

By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 15, 2008

FORT MYERS, Fla., March 14 -- With eight of their nine projected starters in the lineup on Friday, the Boston Red Sox gave the Baltimore Orioles a chance to evaluate some of their pitchers. And the Orioles managed mostly rough results during a 7-4 loss that was called in the seventh inning because of rain.

Baltimore's Jon Leicester, a fifth-starter hopeful, allowed three runs in three innings in his first spring start. While he consistently threw strikes, Leicester paid a heavy price for poor location as he gave up home runs to J.D. Drew and Manny Ram¿rez, whose first-inning blast cleared the Red Sox' bullpen in left field.

"I threw some good pitches," Leicester said. "Tough lineup. They let you know when you don't execute a pitch."

After starting the fourth inning, right-handed reliever Dennis Sarfate allowed two runs in one third of an inning before leaving with the bases loaded.

Reliever Lance Cormier ended the threat by getting Dustin Pedroia to ground into a double play, then followed with a scoreless fifth. But Cormier allowed two runs in the sixth inning.

Loewen Ready to Start

Left-hander Adam Loewen (shoulder stiffness) felt no discomfort after playing catch at the team's complex. Orioles Manager Dave Trembley said Loewen will return to his regular routine, throwing on Sunday and starting on Wednesday.

"Well, he told me yesterday he could have pitched, I took it that I've known him long enough that he's going to tell me the truth," Trembley said.

The team will learn Saturday how much time reliever Jim Hoey (shoulder soreness) could miss. Radhames Liz (flu) did not travel with the team on Friday.

Good Spring for Mora

Melvin Mora drove in two runs and hit his second home run of the spring, a solo shot off Daisuke Matsuzaka, upping his spring training average to .483. The third baseman has 11 RBI in as many games. . . .

Left fielder Luke Scott went 0 for 3 with a pair of strikeouts in his return from a groin injury.

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