Red Sox spring training update: Sox jump on Corbin Burnes, offense comes alive

Pittsburgh Pirates v Boston Red Sox
Pittsburgh Pirates v Boston Red Sox / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox got their second look at Corbin Burnes in Grapefruit League play on Saturday afternoon. It went surprisingly well.

Burnes got off to a good start against Boston's offense in the first inning — two lineouts and a flyout ended the Sox's half of the frame quickly. But the Red Sox made their presence known in the second inning.

Bobby Dalbec stepped up to the plate to lead off. He stood and watched two strikes whiz by. On the third pitch, he unloaded. Dalbec mashed a homer off the Orioles' ace, his second long ball in four games.

And he wasn't the only one to get to Burnes. Immediately after Dalbec's trip around the bases, Wilyer Abreu stepped up to the plate. He, too, allowed Burnes to throw two pitches before taking him deep.

Bobby Dalbec, Wilyer Abreu, Rafael Devers and Jarren Duran all homer as Red Sox offense surges in past two games

Dalbec and Abreu have been posting better offensive numbers in the back half of spring training and they're making their case for the Red Sox Opening Day roster. The home runs off Burnes were both their second in Grapefruit League play this preseason.

Another player who began spring training slowly is starting to hit his stride. Jarren Duran posted a stellar night at the plate against the Twins on Friday. The speedy outfielder blasted his first homer of spring training — he went 3-for-4 at the dish with two runs and four RBI.

Rafael Devers also clocked his third home run of spring to go along with another hit, two runs and two RBI. Connor Wong added to his successful spring as well. The catcher went 2-for-2 with a run on Friday night — he's batting .435/.480/.696 with a 1.176 OPS in his 10 Grapefruit League appearances. In 23 at-bats, he's posted six doubles and he's struck out just four times.

The Red Sox seem to be continuing last year's trend of scoring a lot of runs while also letting up a fair few runs of their own. Boston won Friday's matchup with Minnesota, 8-5, but couldn't stop the Orioles late. Baltimore walked off the Sox for the second time this spring to take home the win, 5-4.

Regardless of the outcomes of the games, seeing Boston's young players hit their stride before the start of the season is promising. Many doubted that Duran could continue his 2023 offensive production into this season and Dalbec and Abreu's early spring numbers were less impressive than fans hoped for.

Even without the quality pitching reinforcements they were hoping to get this offseason, the Red Sox can still win games, or come close, with high offensive output.

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