Coming into Tuesday's annual doubleheader against Northeastern and Boston College, the Red Sox needed to check two boxes for a successful start to the spring:
1. Don't suffer an embarrassing loss to a college team.
2. No injuries.
The first they managed, albeit barely. Seven pitchers including Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello, Anthony Varvaro, and Eduardo Rodriguez managed to hold the Northeastern Huskies to just one run, while Henry Ramos picked up a walk-off hit in the eighth (an extra inning in these college games) to save the Sox from ignominy. Then, against the Eagles, it was Wade Miley leading a shutout effort while Jemile Weeks scored the game's sole run in the sixth, driven in by Blake Swihart.
The second, however, didn't quite go as planned, though we don't know yet whether it's anything to really worry about. Playing in the game against Boston College, Rusney Castillo experienced some pain in his left side after his last at bat. There's no plans right now beyond having him sleep it off, so it's probably safe to assume this isn't a big deal up until it is. Still, not an ideal beginning to his first full campaign in Major League Baseball.
As for the matter of the Red Sox winning two games against college competition by two total runs, well, it's spring training. That goes for David Ortiz' two strikeouts against college kids who now have great stories to tell, Mookie Betts getting caught stealing, and anything else that goes wrong these next four weeks that doesn't involve actual disability. Baseball is back, but it's not real until April.