The day started with some rough news for the Red Sox after Christian Vazquez revealed that discomfort in his shoulder led to an MRI that showed “something”, and he was seeking a second opinion. The day got better for Boston on the field.
They were able to get a victory of the Rays by the score of 9-6. Steven Wright added to his Spring Training success throwing three hitless innings before a disastrous fourth inning that saw five unearned runs cross the plate after Xander Bogaerts couldn’t contain a routine groundball that would have most likely ended the inning had he been able to toss to first. Wright ended up giving up five hits, with three walks and three strikeouts and ended up with the win to improve to 3-0. The knuckleballer continues to impress while he makes a case to be the first man the club may look to if and when the need another arm to make a start.
The Red Sox offense got off to a hot start with the top of the lineup starting to really produce. Victorino finished 1-3 with an RBI, Brock Holt was 1-2 with 2 runs scored, Jeff Bianchi who took over for Holt at third was 1-2 with an RBI and a run scored, David Ortiz was 1-3 with an RBI, but it was Hanley Ramirez and Mike Napoli that did the most damage. In the third inning, Ramirez clocked a double to left, and Napoli followed that up with his third homer of Spring Training to the deep right corner of Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida. Ramirez would add 2 RBI as well.
Nathan Karns, who the Rays will be relying on to have a big role on their staff this season, got the start on Saturday and was hit around. In 4 innings, Karns gave up 5 hits, 6 runs, 3 walks and tossed 3 strikeouts. The loss dropped him to 2-2. Brandon Gomes came on in relief and also gave up a run on 2 hits. The final 2 runs were attributed to C.J. Riefenhauser.
The other bright spot on the day for the Red Sox was another stellar outing for Matt Barnes. It seems that Barnes may be turning the corner and finding his niche coming out of the bullpen. He threw 2.1 innings giving up only 1 hit, no runs, no walks and 4 big strikeouts.
The Sox and Rays will meet again tomorrow at 1:05pm.
*Brandon Workman and Dana Eveland each threw an inning in relief with no earned runs and a combined five strikeouts
*Edwin Escobar, who may be in line for a bigger role with questions surrounding Koji Uehara, struggled a bit in relief giving up a hit, a run and three walks. He did add two strikeouts.
*Brock Holt and Jemile Weeks each had a stolen base bringing each to five stolen bases in Spring Training.
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