Prospect Brentz homers in tie against Orioles

Prospect Brentz homers in tie against Orioles

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Red Sox tied the Orioles, 3-3, in a Grapefruit League pitchers' duel at Ed Smith Stadium on Friday.

Albeit against a lineup void of any Red Sox regulars, O's starter Zach Britton turned in his strongest -- and longest -- outing of the spring as he continues to battle for a rotation spot. The left-hander tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings while allowing just one hit to go along with two walks and a strikeout.

"You can't control who they bring or who they don't bring," Britton said. "It's Spring Training, you know there are obviously going to be guys in there who might not be in the big leagues, but they've all got a bat in their hands and they can all do damage. So you just execute your pitches, and that's what we tried to do today."

Britton, whose longest previous outing this spring was two innings, retired the first six batters he faced before giving up a leadoff single to Mitch Maier in the third. He then pitched around a Manny Machado error to strand two runners and keep the game scoreless heading into the fourth, where he lost some of his command.

After erasing a leadoff walk to Jackie Bradley by inducing a double-play ball from Ryan Lavarnway, Britton issued his second walk of the inning to David Ross, prompting manager Buck Showalter to go to the bullpen. Reliever Zach Petersime took over and retired the only batter he faced, keeping the game scoreless.

It would remain that way until the fifth inning, when Red Sox prospect Bryce Brentz, making his first appearance of the spring, crushed a homer to left-center field off Luis Ayala.

Boston's lead would be short lived, however, as the Orioles quickly answered in the bottom half of the inning. With two outs and nobody on, center fielder Nate McLouth started the rally with a double to right field, then came around to score one batter later on a Brian Roberts single.

The Red Sox pulled ahead on a solo shot by J.C. Linares and an RBI single by Ronald Bermudez in the top of the 10th, but the O's tied it in the bottom half of the frame on Ryan Flaherty's two-run homer with two outs.

Up next: Boston's other split squad will take on the Twins in Ft. Myers at 7:05 ET tonight before the Red Sox hit the road to take on the Rays in Port Charlotte at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday afternoon (listen on Gameday Audio). Alfredo Aceves will make his first pitching appearance on Saturday since returning from his stint with Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Also scheduled to see time on the mound are right-handers Andrew Bailey and Daniel Bard, as well as lefty Andrew Miller.

Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.