Red Sox celebrate Ortiz before 5-3 loss to Orioles
FORT MYERS, FLA. >> Boston celebrated David Ortiz's two decades of spring training in Fort Myers with a pregame ceremony before his final home exhibition game, a 5-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.
Ortiz announced on his 40th birthday in November that this will be his final season. He trained in Fort Myers with the Minnesota Twins and then since 1993 with the Red Sox.
Ortiz went 0 for 3 and left after the sixth inning in a golf cart decorated with his number 34 and the flag of the Dominican Republic on its roof. The cart was driven by a pair of former Red Sox starts: Hall of Famer Jim Rice and Luis Tiant.
"Very nice, very nice," Ortiz said. "I've been coming to Fort Myers for a long time. To get to the point where you can get to say goodbye as a player, it's really good.
"It's crazy. I wasn't expecting any of it but it happened. Whenever somebody comes to you with a gift, it's always welcomed, right? The Red Sox and the city of Fort Myers, I really thank them for being so nice."
Xavier Avery, Nolan Reimold and Francisco Pena homered for the Orioles, with Avery connecting on Rick Porcello's second pitch of the game.
Orioles: Right-hander Mike Wright, competing for a rotation spot, allowed one run and four hits in five innings with two strikeouts and a home run.
"I went out there and did my best every game I started," he said. "I executed pitches like I've never done before."
Baltimore's Tyler Wilson, who gave up two hits in two scoreless innings, also is competing for a rotation spot.
Red Sox: Porcello, Boston's No. 3 starter, gave up five runs, 10 hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings, striking out five. He allowed three home runs.
In four exhibition outings and 15 2/3 innings, Porcello allowed 17 runs, 29 hits and four walks. He has a 9.77 ERA.
"He's capable of better," manager John Farrell said. "He's shown that."
Orioles: Right-hander Kevin Gausman will start the season on the 15-day disabled list due to right shoulder tendinitis. The Orioles hope Gausman will be ready to pitch relatively early in the season. ... Matt Wieters is to catch in a game on Tuesday. Showalter isn't sure whether it will be in a major league or minor league game. Wieters hasn't caught in a major league game since his sore right elbow flared up on March 12.
Red Sox: Right-hander Carson Smith has been sidelined by a flexor muscle strain and will start the season on the disabled list as will right-hander Brandon Workman and catcher Christian Vazquez, who are returning from Tommy John surgery. Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who has been sidelined by a right knee injury, will start the season on the DL, too. ... Third baseman Pablo Sandoval, sidelined since Thursday with lower back stiffness, was 0 for 3 and played five innings in a minor league game against Tampa Bay's Class A team. The Red Sox hope to get him into the major league game on Tuesday. ... Reliever Koji Uehara, who has been sidelined with general soreness, pitched one inning in that game.
Orioles: Baltimore optioned right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne to Triple-A Norfolk.
Red Sox: Outfielder David Murphy was released, a day after exercising his opt out provision. ... Boston optioned infielder Deven Marrero to Triple-A Pawtucket. Infielder Josh Rutledge, first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig, outfielder Brennan Boesch, catchers Dan Butler and Sandy Leon and right-handed pitcher Anthony Varvaro were reassigned to minor league camp. Right-hander pitcher Carlos Marmol was released.
Orioles: Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, who has a 12.56 ERA in five starts, is scheduled to pitch against Atlanta in Sarasota on Tuesday.
Red Sox: Right-hander Joe Kelly is to start against Minnesota in Fort Myers.
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