The Red Sox are off to an 0-2 start in the Grapefruit League after a 6-2 loss to the Twins, courtesy of poor performances on the mound from Allen Webster.
For Allen Webster, it was same old, same old. While he's got some impressive stuff, his inconsistency on the mound has been fatal time and again. Brian Dozier started the attack with a one-out wall ball double in the first, and Joe Mauer jumped on a low 1-1 fastball to put the Twins ahead with a sharp ground ball single past a diving Brock Holt.
Josh Willingham added another double to put runners on second and third, and from there Webster's troubles shifted away from contact. At least with the bat. Instead it was Chris Parmelee the ball hit to load the bases, and when Webster followed up with a walk to Trevor Plouffe, it was good for a second run. The final two outs finally came on a Kennys Vargas RBI sacrifice fly and Kurt Suzuki ground out.
To Webster's credit, the second inning wasn't quite as bad. He got a fly ball out and struck Aaron Hicks out before having his day ended by a Brian Dozier single. But the damage was done, 3-0.
The good news for Webster is that his performance in his first spring training game isn't going to mean much of anything for him. He's still a top candidate to fill in for the Red Sox in the event of an injury in the rotation. That could change if he continues to be ineffective in March, but for now, he'll move on, as will the Sox.
The same cannot be said for Jose Mijares, who gave up a three-run homer to Chris Parmelee in a fifth inning that saw him allow five runners reach base. The Red Sox have plenty of bullpen depth even extending into the minors, and there's only so many innings to spread out to those pitchers who aren't starting the year on the 25-man roster. Right now, Mijares has put himself well down the pecking order.
At the top of that pecking order right now, assuming he doesn't make it out of spring: Drake Britton, who tossed two innings of one-hit ball with four strikeouts.
As for the offense, the one really big swing of the day was contributed by Daniel Nava. After Scott Diamond retired Grady Sizemore and Jason Herrera in relatively rapid fashion to start the game, Nava worked the count full and got all of the 3-2 hanger he was offered. Nava's first swing of the spring left the Red Sox ahead 1-0 on a rocket solo shot over the left field wall. He would add a walk later in the day (because that is what Daniel Nava does), but the Red Sox were generally unable to put together consistent attacks, with Garin Cecchini's 2-for-3 with a double the only other remarkable performance of the day.
The Sox will be back in action Sunday at 1:05 p.m. against the Orioles, with broadcasts on NESN and the MLB Network.