Today, the Red Sox won their third game of the year (3-7 overall this spring) on the back of an excellent pitching performance along with some timely hitting. A combination of Clay Buchholz (three innings), Andrew Miller (one inning), and Dalier Hinojosa (two innings) held the Pirates hitless for the first six innings until the Pirates broke into both the hit and the run column against Rubby de la Rosa. On the offensive side, the lineup was a healthy mix of major leaguers, legitimate prospects, and roster fillers who compiled a decent offensive day against a Pirates’ staff headlined by Charlie Morton, Jason Grilli, and former Red Sox Mark Melancon.
After a scoreless first inning, the Red Sox got going in the second. Bryce Brentz and Travis Shaw reached base on a walk and an error, respectively, and after moving to third and second on a groundout, they both scored on a seeing-eye ground ball into right field by Jackie Bradley Jr., who advanced to second on the throw. The Red Sox picked up one more run in the third on a Mike Carp home run and saw their lead grow to 3-0.
Meanwhile, Clay Buchholz was putting forth a great effort in his second spring start. The lanky right-hander pitched three innings, allowing no hits or runs, with just one walk, while striking out a batter. He was immediately followed by Andrew Miller, who struck out the side in order in the fourth, and Dalier Hinojosa, who struck out one in a pair of perfect innings.
Rubby de la Rosa entered the game for the seventh inning and immediately saw the combined no-hitter disappear on a leadoff single by Gregory Polanco. Polanco would be erased on a forceout, but Chase D’Arnaud took over as the runner, promptly stealing second and then scoring on a single by Chris McGuiness. That would be the Pirates’ only run on the day, but de la Rosa allowed two more hits before departing after the eighth.
A combination of roster fillers put together a little rally in the ninth inning and pushed one more run across for the Red Sox, but the game was already basically over. Former elite closer Francisco Cordero returned to his old role, walking one in an otherwise perfect inning and recording the save for the Red Sox. That would conclude an overall strong day by the Red Sox that will hopefully be a springboard to some positive momentum for the rest of the spring.