In a game that saw the starting lineup for the 2010 Red Sox on the field for the first time, it was the reserves who would ultimately get the job done. Of the 3 runs that the Sox scored today, only one run came as the result of a baserunner from the starting lineup, and none of the RBIs.
The starters did have some opportunities, though. In the 5th inning, walks from Drew and Scutaro along with a Beltre single loaded the bases with 1 out, but the Sox couldn't push anyone across. And in the 6th, Ortiz and Youkilis would walk to set up a 1st and 2nd with 1 out situation, but again the Sox came up empty.
The rally came with the Sox down 1-0, and was started by one of the original 9: Mike Cameron, who hit a leadoff double to get things started in the 7th. Darnell McDonald came out to pinch run for him, and then scored after Jose Iglesias reached via infield single and Ryan Kalish walked when Tug Hullet singled up the middle, putting the Sox on top 2-1. Dusty Brown would score Kalish with a sacrifice fly, giving the Sox their third run.
The Sox pitching staff, meanwhile, had largely shut down the Pirates' offense. Buchholz turned things around from his last start with 3 scoreless innings, giving up only a hit and a walk while fanning 2 with changeups. Papelbon, Delcarmen, and Shouse had combined for 3 more scoreless innings of relief, while Boof Bonser had given up the lone Pirates run on a homer by Delwyn Young.
And then came Michael Bowden, who just could not find the strike zone, issuing 3 free passes in his 2 innings. One of those passes turned into a run when Bowden gave up a long fly ball that bounced off the top of the short wall in left. A foot higher, and it would've been gone. Bowden managed to get out of the 8th with the lead, but was in big trouble with runners on 1st and 2nd and nobody out when Iglesias snagged a line drive for one out, and flipped to second for another. Trying for the triple play, Tug Hullet threw low and late to first. Seeing the ball get away, the baserunner tried to head for second anyways, and was out by a mile to finish the game ending triple play.
- A lot of reunions for the Sox. Brandon Moss, Argenis Diaz, Jonathan Van Every, and Javier Lopez all saw action for the Pirates today. No, JVE did not pitch.
- NESN was scheduled to broadcast the game, but barely managed to show 2 innings as they were plagued by "technical difficulties". I love Don and Remy, but man, don't ask them to call a game for the radio.
- The Red Sox drew 7 walks today. This is the 6th time in 10 Grapefruit league games they have managed 6 or more walks.
- Daisuke Matsuzaka's bullpen session was canceled today due to a stiff neck. Can't really expect he'll be around to start the year with how carefully they're treating him and given the situation with Wakefield.
- The Sox are now 7-3 and in 2nd place in the all-important Grapefruit League standings.