SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — It was a scary moment for the Baltimore Orioles. Designated hitter Wilson Betemit was on first in the fifth inning and running on the pitch when Manny Machado flied to left field. Betemit already near second, was scrambling to get back to first when he collapsed.
For several moments, Betemit was on the ground while teammates, trainers and manager Buck Showalter surrounded him. Betemit was sent for an MRI late Monday afternoon and diagnosed with a Grade 2/3 tear of the posterior cruciate ligament ”with associated injuries.”
Betemit had already hit a three-run home run and a sacrifice fly, Adam Jones hit two home runs, and J.J. Hardy drove in four runs with three hits including a three-run homer as Baltimore beat the Boston Red Sox 12-9.
Showalter was so upset by Betemit’s injury that he left the dugout and walked off the field to visit with Betemit in the right field clubhouse.
”He’s pretty down right now, as we are,” Showalter said. ”I’m going to think positive thoughts. Obviously it doesn’t look good right now but I’m concerned about Wilson the human being as opposed to what he does for our club.”
The Orioles scored 12 runs for the second straight day as they ran their record to 18-7-3, best in the Grapefruit League.
Rule 5 draft choice T.J. McFarland started his first game for Baltimore, working 3 2-3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. He struck out five and walked none.
”The results aren’t necessarily what I wanted to see,” McFarland said. ”But in the game, I felt good. I have nerves every time I go out to throw. You usually can overcome them, they are good nerves. I am excited to pitch. But not any more or less than there usually is.
”I was able to calm myself before the game and just go out there like any other day.”
The Orioles would like to find a way to keep McFarland. But they’ll have to find room in a bullpen that returns all the key members who helped the team win 93 games last season.
Boston brought a handful of starters, and has many injury problems of its own. Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, for instance, rolled an ankle and jammed a heel in Sunday’s game at Philadelphia.
”Jacoby came in today, feeling a little bit sore after yesterday,” manager John Farrell said. ”But taking him out of yesterday’s game was as much precautionary as anything.”
Ellsbury didn’t play on Monday, and the Red Sox are off on Tuesday. Farrell is hoping he plays Wednesday against Miami.
Shortstop Stephen Drew, who has been sidelined with concussion symptoms, took 50 ground balls for the second straight day.
”After we get through today, we’ll hopefully have a better read on what we can get accomplished before camp breaks,” Farrell said.
Farrell also said he didn’t expect his team to add any players from the outside before the season started.
”We’ve been pretty consistent with staying the course of who we open up with will come from this camp,” he said. ”That hasn’t veered off that course.”
The Red Sox called on minor league pitcher Graham Godfrey to start. He allowed six runs on nine hits in three innings.
NOTES: The Orioles optioned INF/OF Russ Canzler to Triple-A Norfolk and reassigned OF Jason Pridie to minor league camp. … OF Nick Markakis took batting practice for the second straight day and may join the team for a game at Minnesota on Tuesday. He hasn’t played since being scratched with neck spasms on March 3. … Boston reassigned INFs Xander Bogaerts, Jonathan Diaz, and Drew Sutton to minor league camp.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)