The Boston Red Sox have started the spring training schedule with the traditional doubleheader against Northeastern and Boston College. No surprises and no injuries.
Animal rights activists should certainly be on high alert after the dismantling of the Huskies (Northeastern) and the less offensively minded beating of the Eagles (Boston College) in the now traditional start of spring training doubleheader against the collegians.
In the first game, NEU got buried in the early frames of a 15-2 rout by a select Red Sox lineup that had several notables missing. The Red Sox were gifted by the first five batters being issued a walk on their way to scoring seven runs and giving lefty starter Jalen Beeks a victory for two shutout frames in the seven-inning contest.
For Boston, the roster regulars of note were Blake Swihart (1-1, 2 BB, 3 RBI, 3 R, triple), Brock Holt (2-2, 2 RBI, 2 R), and Mitch Moreland and Jackie Bradley both going 1-1 with an RBI. From the prospect department, the main contributor was a 23-year-old right-handed hitter named Kryi Washington. And since this is George’s birthday, Kyri celebrated by slamming a towering grand slam to left.
Justin Haley – who pitched briefly for the Twins in 2017 – was an easy exam to pass for the NEU hitters allowing both runs. Haley went 1.2 frames allowing three hits and the mentioned runs. Also, in the game was veteran minor league right-hander Marcus Walden who tossed a pair of hitless innings.
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With a stripped-down lineup and stripped-down competition, the highlights are rather tenuous to grab and even NESN could not inject any excitement, but for the college kids, this is something special.
Swihart got the nod to catch which may signal the out of options Swihart getting a fair share of showcase games. Holt started at second and eventually was replaced by Nick Lovullo. Sound familiar? Yes- Torey Lovullo’s son.
The second contest – another seven-inning affair – started out with far less offensive drama for the professional contingent with just two runs in the first inning. Walks, however, were the key ingredient with both Rusney Castillo and Sandy Leon watching ball four. Sam Travis rocked a double to left and that started the Red Sox scoring on the way to a 4-2 win.
The Red Sox only managed five hits against five B.C. hurlers with no one in a Boston uniform getting more than one. Three of the Red Sox hits were for extra bases as Tzu-Wei Lin and Oscar Hernandez banged out two-baggers to join Travis.
The pitching parade for Boston was led by righty Chandler Shepherd with two solid frames to open the game. Shepherd allowed one hit and struck out one. BSI’s Hunter Noll may be on to something with right-handed prospect Teddy Stankiewicz. Stankiewicz tossed two scoreless and whiffed three. The scoring for the game was closed out in the seventh when righty Kevin McAvoy allowed both B.C. runs of which one was earned.