Boston Red Sox ace pitcher David Price rounded up some run support from his teammates and kept the Pittsburgh Pirates off long enough to earn the 6-3 win.
With a slight 8-mph wind from right to left at JetBlue Park, the Red Sox started their prized free agent signing against the Pirates’ own free agent signing, righty pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, who came over after winning a few World Series championships with the San Francisco Giants. As the month of March starts to come to a close, each game becomes more serious, as the clubs’ rotations will be stretched out to go for longer appearances, rounding them into form for the beginning of the regular season.
The same could be said for the batting lineups, especially the Red Sox. Boston used most of their expected starters to fill up the lineup card. While Brock Holt led off as the left fielder, Chris Young was in right field, and Travis Shaw started at third base, much of the heart of lineup was in place to take on the Pirates.
And, it didn’t take long for them to make an impact.
In the bottom of the first inning, David Ortiz came through once again for the Red Sox, grounding out to score Holt to take the lead. Hanley Ramirez followed that up with a single to right field, which scored Xander Bogaerts to make it a 2-0 lead.
Skip to the bottom of the third inning, and Red Sox veteran leader Dustin Pedroia helped increase the tally by singling to center field to score Holt, once again. Pedroia was able to advance to second base after a throwing error. After Pedroia moved to third on a Bogaerts single, Ramirez was able to make the Pirates pay for the previous mistake by hitting a sacrifice fly deep enough in center to score Pedroia. The score was 4-0 at that point.
As far as Price was concerned, however, he was on cruise control until the top of the fourth inning. Two doubles were his downfall, as Tito Polo drove his to left field to cash in Josh Harrison for the Pirates. That scratch in the other direction was vindicated by Pedroia, driving another single to center off of Vogelsong that scored both Rusney Castillo and Blake Swihart for a 6-1 lead.
If it wasn’t for a mistake by the Red Sox defence, Price would have only had the one run next to his name for this game. After walking Jason Rogers, Price was relieved by Noe Ramirez in the top of the sixth inning. Bogaerts was also substituted by Deven Marrero, who made a throwing error on a force out attempt at second, allowing Rogers to reach third base. The next Pirates batter was Gregory Polanco who grounded out to score Rogers, giving Price an unearned run on his pitching line.
Another groundout finished the Pirates’ scoring for the game, allowing Harrison to cross the plate to make the scoreboard read 6-3 in favour of the Red Sox.
- Pedroia was 2-for-3 with three RBIs for half of the Red Sox scoring.
- Red Sox were 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position, leaving five men on base. The Pirates were 1-for-11 with seven men left on base.
- Matt Barnes came into the game for two innings, blanking the Pirates for only two hits with two strikeouts.
- Vogelsong went 4.1 innings, allowing six runs, five earned, on nine hits and two walks.
Price only had two mistakes, one cost him and the other wasn’t terrible if the defence would have come through. He faced 23 batters, one more than his counterpart, and took the victory on four hits, five walks, and three strikeouts. Overall, Price looked in regular season form. He may not have completely shut down the Pirates, but he limited their chances to really hurt the Red Sox.
A run scored on Ramirez’s watch, but the pair combined for only two hits allowed while striking out four batters in four innings of work. If these two arms can consistently do the same in the regular season, imagine if the more trusted, or at least the higher-paid, relievers match that success. If all goes well for the bullpen, we may see the Red Sox taking an early lead in the standings.
This man was responsible for half of the team’s offence. Considering that there were six runs scored, it’s hard not to give the team a good grade for their offence. However, the bottom half of the lineup could not muster much more than two hits. Han-Ram came through with two RBIs on his only hit of the game. Every starter was substituted during the game, but the new personnel could only earn one hit amongst them. It was nice to see the top half having success, but it needs to be sustained throughout the lineup, at least with getting on base, for the Red Sox to fight for a division title this season.