Call them whatever you want--goose eggs, zeroes, or even potatoes as Alfredo Aceves prefers--Red Sox pitchers put up nine of them today, shutting out the Twins to grab a 5-0 victory and take a 2-1 victory in the Mayor's Cup.
It was Jon Lester who got things started for the Sox, taking the mound for the first time this spring. While the team's ace wasn't exactly dominant, allowing a walk and a hit in his two innings, he got his outs and passed the ball of to Alfredo Aceves, who matched his performance.
The Sox didn't waste much time backing their pitchers with a lead, either. Leading off the second inning, Ryan Kalish bunted his way to first before Darnell McDonald was hit by a Scott Baker pitch, moving Kalish to second. From there, a pair of sacrifice flies from Josh Reddick and Jarrod Saltalamacchia was enough to put the Sox on the board.
While Jed Lowrie and Marco Scutaro may be involved in a position battle right now, they combined to give the Sox another run in the fifth with a double and single respectively. Jonathan Papelbon was the next pitcher in line to debut, mainitaining the 2-0 lead by inducing a pair of groundballs and a pop-up bunt.
As has tended to be the case of late, the Sox' biggest offensive outburst came when the starters had been pulled. Drew Sutton drove in Juan Carlos Linares in the eighth before Linares paid it forward, bringing Yamaico Navarro home in the ninth and scoring again himself on a Nate Spears line drive.
Randy Williams, Rich Hill, Tony Pena, and Matt Fox added a scoreless inning a piece to seal the deal.
Mike Cameron: A 2-3 day boosts Cameron's average back up to .500. He'll be very important this year against southpaws given the team's lefty-heavy outfield.
Juan Carlos Linares: After torching the Arizona Fall League, Linares is off to another hot start.
Matt Fox: A couple of strikeouts in the ninth makes Fox the only Red Sox pitcher to get multiple K's.
Peripherals: The Sox held the Twins scoreless, but allowed four walks to go with their four K's.
Brent Dlugach: If anyone can't catch a break, it's Dlugach. A dislocated shoulder isn't going to help him recover from his questionable first impressions.