Quick hits: Gomes makes first start, in LF


BALTIMORE -- A few quick hits prior to Wednesday night's game between the Red Sox and Orioles in Game 2 of the 2014 season:

• Since eliminating the Sox in the last game of the 2011 season, an event recalled in some quarters as the Curse of the Andino, the Orioles are 25-13 against the Red Sox, even though they've outscored Boston by just 16 runs. The Orioles have won five straight one-run decisions, including Monday's 2-1 win in which the Sox stranded 12 runners.

Shane Victorino, who missed the White House visit Tuesday because of illness, is in Baltimore, but was left back in the team hotel with flu-like symptoms, manager John Farrell said.

Jonny Gomes is making his first start of the season, in left field and batting fifth. That was the only change in the Sox lineup, as Mike Carp (1-for-4 with a single) sits. Gomes has great numbers against Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (5-for-12, 2 HRs).

Daniel Nava's 0-for-5 in the opener was only the seventh time he has gone hitless in five at-bats. He did it five times last season, once in 2012.

David Ortiz said his "selfie" with President Obama at the White House Tuesday was spontaneous, though he acknowledged he'd struck a promotional deal with Samsung a couple of months earlier.

"When people went crazy over that, you don't get to see anything like that every day," Ortiz said. "It wasn't anything promotional, anything like that. I mean, who knows that you're going to take a picture with the President. How many people can guarantee that? It was something we don't even have to talk about."

Mike Napoli, on the president mispronouncing his name as Na-POLE-ee: "I give him a mulligan. He'll get it right next year."

• The last time Tuesday's Sox starter, John Lackey, faced the Orioles, he threw a two-hitter in his only complete game of the season, striking out eight. That was last Sept. 19 at Fenway Park.

• Gomes and Ortiz spoke of how moved they were by their visit to grievously injured veterans in Walter Reed Military Medical Center after going to the White House.

"It's pretty humbling to see how young these guys are," Gomes said. "It's something. Not only how young they are, how injured they are at a young age, but how important these people are. You talk about a 20-, 21-year-old running a whole platoon.

"They wanted no sympathy," Gomes said. "'Don't come in this room feeling sorry for us. We signed up for this job.'"

Ortiz, who has been to the facility twice previously: "One thing happened to me yesterday. This one young guy, he's 26 right now, he's got both of his legs blown off by a bomb. His spirit was so good, me and Pedroia and some other players, we were around him and we were looking at each other, like, 'Seriously?' So many people bitching and complaining about stupid things in life, and look at this guy. I think the best thing that ever happened to me was just go and look at this guy, because I guarantee that made me a better human. He was so excited to watch us around him. It was unbelievable. I had a really good time visiting with the veterans, and hanging out with them."