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Red Sox 4, Orioles 0: Kyle Kendrick is your seventh starter, for now

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Kyle Kendrick continues his solid spring.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox took their first night game of 2017, which is a very exciting thing that happened. Yes it is. If you decided to watch Team U.S.A. kick off their WBC action rather than watch Kyle Kendrick start a spring training game against the Orioles (I wouldn’t blame you), here’s what you need to know.

Kyle Kendrick was solid, again

It’s starting to look more and more like, if the Red Sox need a starter that is not from their top six to start the season, Kendrick is going to be that guy. We’d hoped that either Henry Owens or Brian Johnson would’ve shown enough to take that role, but that hasn’t happened. Roenis Elias hasn’t been great either, and now he’s being shut down for a couple of weeks. That leaves Kendrick and Hector Velazquez. The former continued to make his case on Friday night, tossing four scoreless frames. He allowed two doubles, two singles, two walks and struck out two Orioles. It wasn’t a flawless outing, but his competition hasn’t set a high bar. Oh, and for those wondering, Kendrick’s first opt-out doesn’t come until mid-June, so the Red Sox don’t need to worry about losing him when Opening Day rolls around. Hopefully, we won’t see too much of Kendrick this year, but something tells me we will.

Solid day for the bullpen, too

As has been the case lately, the Red Sox bullpen didn’t feature many big names on Friday. All the same, they had a good night. Joe Kelly kicked things off, and he’s obviously an important part of the bullpen looking towards Opening Day. He continued to inspire confidence in his new role, as he threw a scoreless inning that included one single as well as a double play. With Thornburg still having trouble getting back up, Kelly could assume the number two job in the bullpen when the season begins. Following Kelly were Edgar Olmos, Austin Maddox and Jamie Callahan. All of them are interesting in their own ways (I’m particularly intrigued by Olmos, although I feel I’m the only one), but they don’t figure to play much of a role this year. Luis Ysla finished things off with a scoreless ninth that included one walk and two strikeouts. He will almost certainly start the year in Triple-A, but could very well make his way to the majors at some point this summer. If not, he’ll always have his time as the spring training closer.

The lineup does enough...and not much more

The pitching was a highlight of the night for Boston, but the offense plated a few runs as well. They just didn’t do it in a very exciting way. Nobody had multiple hits, and the only extra-base hit was a triple from Marco Hernandez to lead off the game. He’d come around the score when Chris Young followed up with an RBI single. Blake Swihart had a single and a walk, making him the only Red Sox player to reach base twice.