The 4-3 final score in Lake Buena Vista today doesn't really match the feeling of Wednesday's spring training game against the Braves. With a 15-7 advantage in baserunners, this one felt a lot more like a rout.
After the first at bat of the game, though, it looked like it might have been the other way around. Stepping into the batter's box to start the game, Marco Scutaro wasted no time continuing a trend of smaller Red Sox getting big hits this spring, jacking a leadoff solo shot to left field.
That one loud blast, however, would prove to be pretty much the only offense the Sox could get off of Tommy Hanson, who retired 15 of the last 16 batters he faced in his five scoreless innings.
The offense off of Lester was, unfortunately, rather more sustained. The slim lead he was gifted evaporated almost immediately, as the Braves started off the game with three straight hits. Even Lester's first out of the game came on a loud line out to right field.
While he would recover for the next few innings, allowing a few baserunners mixed in with four strikeouts and a good few groundouts, as with so many other Red Sox pitchers of late, Lester just couldn't keep it up as he went deeper into the game. The fifth inning started almost as badly as the first, and the Red Sox' starter found himself in a bases loaded situation with just one out. A strong throw from Ryan Kalish on a sacrifice fly failed to get the out as the ball bounced out of Jarrod Saltalamacchia's glove, and when the next batter singled home another run, Lester found himself yanked early.
Andrew Miller would hold the lead to just two runs long enough for the Red Sox to fight back on hits from Kevin Youkilis, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Josh Reddick. But the tie didn't last for even an inning, as Dennys Reyes allowed his first run of spring after Brian McCann doubled to lead off the bottom of the seventh.The lefty allowed three total hits while striking out two in an inning of work, and earned the loss as the Red Sox could not recover from the 4-3 deficit.
Marco Scutaro: It's been a slow spring for Red Sox shortstops, making Scutaro's leadoff bomb a pleasant surprise.
Ryan Kalish: With a single and a walk, Kalish was the only member of the Red Sox to reach base twice. He also flashed his speed again, stealing his third base of the spring, and nearly gunned down a runner at home, though Salty couldn't quite get it done at the plate.
Jon Lester: Like with Beckett's recent outing, Lester gets some slack for falling apart later in the game. His first inning wasn't pretty, though, and really this just looked a lot like April Lester. Hopefully he's getting it out of his system?
Daniel Nava: 0-3, two strikeouts, and honestly some pretty ugly defense on some fly balls that maybe shouldn't have been hits.