The Red Sox returned home to Jet Blue Park today to shut down the split-squad Tampa Bay Rays this afternoon, 5-1. Justin Masterson, building on his two inning outing last Friday in which he allowed just one hit and one unearned run, kept his ERA spotless for the Spring, twirling three perfect innings and striking out four in the process. Red Sox pitching was once again the story allowing just three hits, striking out 11 Rays on the day. Henry Owens bounced back from his previous shaky outing, striking out two in two perfect innings. The the only Rays run scored as the result of a Blake Swihart passed ball. Swihart singled and scored in his only plate appearance.
The Rays sent young right handed starting hopeful Matt Andriese to the hill. In 2013, Andriese spent the entire year at the Rays’ AAA affiliate in Durham, posting a 11-8 record with a 3.95 ERA in 28 games (25 starts) and 162.1 innings. The Rays didn’t give him help in the field, committing three errors. The first error brought home Jackie Bradley, Jr. who had doubled in the inning. Hanley Ramirez followed with his own double to knock in Dustin Pedroia who had reached on the error.
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The Rays lineup had few of the names we might associate with their team, since their home game today will feature regulars like Evan Longoria and James Loney. We did see Corey Brown at Jet Blue Park whose lone Red Sox plate appearance last year was against laser-throwing Aroldis Chapman, and Juan Francisco who was a Red Sox for about two weeks this Winter before signing with the Rays in January.
Notes: Dustin Pedroia cooled off after his five hits in his first two Spring starts, going 0 for three with a run scored. David Ortiz managed a single in three plate appearances. Dana Eveland gave up an unearned run for the third time this Spring on the Swihart passed ball. Garin Cecchini stroked a two run double in his only plate appearance.
The Red Sox try to extend their winning streak to six tomorrow afternoon, taking on the Yankees in Tampa at 1:05.