Orioles beat up Boston’s Webster in 5-4 victory

Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (left) greets teammate Ryan Lavarnway after Bogaerts hit a solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla., Thursday.
Steve Mitchell | USA Today Sports
Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (left) greets teammate Ryan Lavarnway after Bogaerts hit a solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla., Thursday.
Posted March 26, 2014, at 7:20 p.m.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Boston Red Sox righthander Allen Webster is battling to earn a spot on the team’s opening day roster but didn’t help his cause Wednesday when he gave up five runs in a 5-4 spring training loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

The Orioles reached Webster for 11 hits and two walks. He struck out two.

Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks hit back-to-back home runs for the Red Sox in the fourth inning. Dustin Pedroia chipped in with two hits and Mike Carp contributed an RBI single.

Middlebrooks, who struggled last season, also singled and has a .341 spring training average.

Steve Clevenger, Baltimore’s new starting catcher, hit a solo home run. Nick Markakis added an RBI double and Jemile Weeks had two hits.

Baltimore third baseman Ryan Flaherty, a Portland native, doubled and singled.

On Thursday, righthander John Lackey will make his final spring start when the Red Sox play the Twins at 7:05 p.m. Relievers Burke Badenhop, Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara and Edward Mujica may also pitch while Grady Sizemore will get the start in center field for the third straight day.

Abreu misses out on Phillies’ roster spot

Veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu will not be on the Philadelphia Phillies’ Opening Day roster, ending his comeback attempt, the club announced Wednesday.

Abreu struggled in the field during Wednesday’s spring training game against the Detroit Tigers, misplaying two balls hit in his direction.

“I wanted to see Bobby in right field today,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. “I got a chance to see him.”

A member of the Phillies from 1998 through part of 2006, the 40-year-old Abreu hit .263 in 38 at-bats this spring in his bid to make the club as a reserve outfielder after putting together an impressive showing in the Venezuelan Winter League this offseason.

Angels cut veteran RHP Blanton

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim released veteran right-hander Joe Blanton on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old Blanton struggled in his first season with the Angels in 2013, posting a 2-14 record with a 6.04 ERA in 28 games covering 132 2/3 innings, and continued to have trouble this spring, allowing 16 runs in 20 1/3 innings in Cactus League games.

Blanton signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels last winter. The Angels owe him $7.5 million this year and a $1 million buyout on his 2015 option.

Since his first major league season in 2004, Blanton has logged a career record of 85-89 with a 4.52 ERA.

Pirates, Marte agree on six-year extension

The Pittsburgh Pirates reached agreement with outfielder Sterling Marte on a six-year contract extension worth $31 million with two club options, CBSSports.com reported Wednesday.

The deal is contingent on Marte passing a team physical.

The 25-year-old left fielder batted .280 with 12 home runs, 10 triples, 35 RBIs and 41 stolden bases in 135 games last year, his first full season in the major leagues.

According to CBSSports.com, the six-year deal extends through the five remaining years on Marte’s contract and at least one free agent year, with club options covering two more years.

The agreement with Marte secures the Pirates’ outfield for the near future. The team also signed center fielder Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata to six-year contracts in the past few years.

 

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