Final in 8

Red Sox 3

(2-4, 1-3 away)

Orioles 5

(4-2, 3-1 home)

    1:05 PM ET, March 2, 2009

    Ft. Lauderdale Stadium, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    BOS 000100200 3 - -
    BAL 00120002 - 5 - -

    Orioles 5, Red Sox 3

    Associated Press

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- There is little question about Justin Masterson's importance to the Boston Red Sox this season.

    The only uncertainty is his role.

    Masterson pitched two scoreless innings Monday in Boston's 5-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. In two appearances, the right-hander has allowed no runs, two hits and one walk in four innings.

    As a rookie last year, Masterson started nine games and worked 27 out of the bullpen. In the postseason, he compiled an impressive 1.86 ERA in nine games as a reliever.

    So, what will it be this year? Starter or reliever?

    The answer is to be determined, but Masterson says it doesn't matter to him and Boston manager Terry Francona is in no rush to make a decision.

    "If we thought there was some anxiety there with him, we'd spend more time talking to him. He's OK," Francona said. "He understands that he's an integral part of what we want to do. We just need to let this play itself out a little bit. and we've explained this to him."

    Masterson retired six of seven Baltimore batters, the exception a first-inning single by Nick Markakis.

    "He threw strikes," Francona said. "He was pretty good. He'll come back Sunday (against Tampa Bay) and throw three innings."

    Baltimore starter Brad Bergeson pitched three innings of shutout ball, allowing four hits and striking out three. The 23-year-old was a long shot to make the team until injuries to Rich Hill, John Parrish and Brad Hennessey lessened the odds.

    "It's a great opportunity," Bergeson said.

    Manager Dave Trembley said, "I thought Bergeson was fine. He really works fast and keeps the guys in the game. That's what I like about him."

    After Ivan Ochoa hit a two-run homer for the Red Sox to create a tie at 3 in the seventh inning, Donnie Murphy hit a two-run drive for Baltimore in the eighth off Adam Mills. Francona brought a lineup filled with minor leaguers, mostly because several of his standout players are participating in the World Baseball Classic.

    "It can be beneficial for some of the kids that wouldn't get a chance to play," Francona said. "Hopefully some of these kids will take advantage of it."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Game Information

    StadiumFt. Lauderdale Stadium, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Umpires, Second Base - James Hoye, Third Base - Mike Estabrook