Red Sox Spring Training Report

At last the baseball season is here. The Red Sox started off by playing Northeastern University and Boston College. The games were actually much more competitive than in years past. The Sox won both games by the same 5-2 score. No matter what the score, the players from the college teams will always cherish their time at Jet Blue Park. It has to be a milestone for each player and something they can talk about for years.

February 28 was the official start of the season. Prior to the game, the team introduced all of the players finishing up with the players that won the World Series. A lengthy but interesting start to the season. There were many smiling faces at the beginning of the game. Unfortunately, they did not last through the game. Minnesota took the game 8-2. Anthony Ranaudo our 39th pick of the 2010 draft started off great with 2 scoreless innings and striking out 4. It went down hill from that point. The team struggled to get hits managing only 5 including a home run by Bryce Brentz. Mike Napoli started off with 2 hits while Jonathan Herrera and Brandon Snyder each had 1. Andrew Miller struggled giving up 3 runs in 2/3 of an inning. Dalier Hinojosa got the loss. 11 of 18 Twins got hits. This was the first game of the Chairman’s Cup Rivalry between the Sox and our Fort Myers’ neighbors the Twins.

March 1 found the Sox travelling across town to take on the Twins again. Alan Webster struggled giving up 4 hits and 3 runs in 1 2/3 innings. The Twins put in away in the 6th when Chris Parmelee hit a 3 run homer off reliever Jose Mijaris. Daniel Nava got his first home run of the young season. AJ Pierzynski got his first start and looked good behind the plate. Jonathan Herrera, Grady Sizemore and Brock Holt all had 1 hit and Garin Cecchini had 2. Sizemore is looking to take over center field and if he has a good year has an opportunity to do it. Joe Maurer made his first start at first base after being their catcher for many years. Final score was 6-2 giving the Twins the lead in the Chairman’s Cup.

March 2 was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the mid 80’s and the Sox winning their first game of the exhibition season against Baltimore. They had an 8-2 lead and Baltimore gave them a scare in the last inning. Felix Doubront started and pitched 2 scoreless innings only giving up 1 hit and striking out 2. He looked sharp and said after the game he felt strong and that his pitches were where he wanted them. Our young shortstop Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr each had 2 hits in a winning effort. Mike Napoli hit his first home run. Jonny Gomes, Dustin Pedroia, Brandon Snyder, Bryce Brentz, Heiker Meneses, Travis Shaw and Scott Cousins all had hits for the Sox. Both Bradley and Bogaerts hope to contribute this year. Delmon Young had 2 hits for the Orioles. The Sox fans were treated to a surprise when Mike Yastrzemski, Red Sox great Carl’s grandson pinch ran for the Orioles and stayed in the game. He was originally drafted by the Sox out of high school, but, opted to go to Vanderbilt instead. Carl was at the park to watch him play.

March 3 was another away game with Boston traveling to play the Pittsburgh Pirates. They lost a heartbreaker after tying it in the 8th and watching Pittsburgh plate the winning run in the bottom of the inning. Brandon Workman pitched the first 2 innings giving up 5 runs on 2 home runs. He started in place of Jake Peavey who cut his finger while preparing to go fishing with his young son. He hopes to start throwing on the side shortly and may still be ready to start the season. AJ Piercynski caught for the Sox getting 2 hits. Mike Carp got his first homer and Bryce Brentz got his second. Piercynski got a double and single. Blake Swihart and Deven Marrero each hit for the Sox. Koji Uehara pitched a scoreless inning striking out 2. Junichi Tazawa also pitched a scoreless inning giving up 1 hit. Russell Martin got a home run for Pittsburgh and Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez each had 2 hits for the winners. Francisco Liriano pitched 2 scoreless innings for Pittsburgh striking out 4. Nathan Baker got the win.

March 4 had the Sox back at Jet Blue to meet rival Tampa Bay. Chris Archer, one of Tampa’s young arms started the game going 2 scoreless innings. Jose Molina was on base 3 times, scoring twice with 2 hits and a walk. David DeJesus had a double and a triple. Matt Joyce had 2 hits. James Loney and Sean Rodriguez both hit home runs. Alex Hassan had 2 hits and Daniel Nava, Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes, Will Middlebrooks, Brandon Snyder and Dan Butler all had hits for the Sox. Clay Buchholz got the start for the Sox and struggled giving up 3 hits and 1 run in 1 inning.

March 5 was a rematch of the World Series with a different outcome. Shelby Miller gave up a home run to Daniel Nava, his second of the season, and then retired the next 5 in strikeouts. He did not play in the series as the Cardinals did not want to over extend him in his rookie season. Christian Vazquez got 2 hits for the Sox. Bogaerts got his first home run of the season. Mike Carp, Ryan Lavarnway, Garin Cecchini, Hekier Meneses and Devin Marrero all had hits for the Sox. The final score was 8-6 Pirates. Both Jon Lester and John Lackey have started to throw on the side and it is expected that Lester will start a game Monday.

March 6 ended in a scoreless inning after rain stopped the game in the 8th inning. Boston went with all young players giving the veterans a chance to stay back at Jet Blue and a tough work out. Devin Marrero had 2 hits in the rain shortened game. Jackie Bradley Jr. Alex Hassan, Bryce Brentz, Ryan Lavarnway, and Blake Swihart all had a hit for the Sox. Alan Webster recovered from his last outing going 3 innings giving up 1 hit and striking out 1. Former Sox catcher now with Miami went 0-2.