The Red Sox took the bus over to Kissimmee for an ESPN-broadcast game this afternoon. The Braves best starter Julio Teheran (14-13, 2.89 in 2014) took the ball for the Braves. Clay Buchholz started for the Red Sox, sporting a 1.80 ERA in ten Spring innings. Buchholz pitched in trouble most of this game, but managed to get out of jams for the most part. Teheran was borderline dominant, (although walking four batters) allowing just five hits over 5.2 innings. Two of those were infield hits by Brock Holt, who started at shortstop today. Holt also worked a walk, and stole his fourth base of the Spring. Mookie Betts was the hitting star for today, roping a single in the first, then a bullet home run over the left field wall, for both of the Red Sox runs today.
Teheran’s wildness in the first inning put him into a bases loaded jam in the first. After Betts singled, with two outs Daniel Nava and Allen Craig walked. Rusney Castillo put a charge into the 0-2 offering from Teheran but it was easily tracked down in deep center field. Holt and Betts were on in the second inning with two outs when Dustin Pedroia ended the rally with a ground out to short stop.
Buchholz pitched in trouble most of this game, but managed to get out of jams for the most part. This was not his most dominant outing, surrendering 12 hits in a 4-2, seven inning loss. On the positive side, they were all singles and not many of them hit very hard. Buchholz struck out six batters and walked only one. The big hit for the Braves was a three run double by another ex-Red Sox Pedro Ciriaco on an 0-2 pitch in the second inning. In an effort to get him to 100 pitches, Manager John Farrell brought him out for the sixth. On his 96th and last pitch of the day, the leadoff batter in the Braves sixth inning, ex-Red Sox Kelly Johnson, hit a long home run to center field.
- Allen Craig was the only other Red Sox batter to reach base twice, working a walk and singling.
- Pedroia hit in the DH spot today.
- The Braves started three ex-Red Sox, Ciriaco, A.J. Pierzynski, and Jonny Gomes, as well as the pinch hit appearance by Johnson.
Buchholz got his work in, walked only one batter and got up to 96 pitches. Farrell’s quest to get him closer to 100 pitches did not end well, with Johnson’s homer. Buchholz had gotten out of no out and one out jams in the fourth and fifth innings. Considering the high stress nature (Braves were two of nine with runners in scoring position) of his day, the 91 pitches he had thrown after the fifth should have been enough to end his day. Hopefully, he used up his bad BABIP luck today, the Braves were 12 for 21 on balls in play.
Left hander Ross was the only reliever, striking out two (both lefties), and inducing a ground out to second in his one inning of work before the rains came. Ross threw 11 pitches, nine of them for strikes.
Mookie was just doing what he has been doing all Spring, squaring balls up and hitting them hard which did not happen often off the occasionally wild Teheran today. Betts batting line for the Spring now stands at .487/.512/.744 through 40 plate appearances. He has more extra base hits than singles this Spring.
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