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Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 4: Pomeranz struggles in first spring outing

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The Red Sox lost won, but got a shaky performance from their starter.

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight day, the Red Sox faced off against the Blue Jays. Also for the second straight day, a potential member of Boston’s regular season rotation makes his spring debut.

Drew Pomeranz was shaky in first spring start

Drew Pomeranz is not the most popular pitcher on the Red Sox after struggling in the second half following a trade that cost the team Anderson Espinoza. This is a big season for him as he looks to prove that the first half of 2016 was not a fluke. The lefty got off to a slow start this spring as he recovered from an elbow injury that began to bother him towards the end of last season. He finally got ramped up enough to make his first spring start on Tuesday and was...not great. The first batter he faced lined out to left field on a hard-hit ball and the second (Melvin Upton) hit a monstrous home run after which the outfielders didn’t even move. He would give up another run in his second inning of work when Anthony Alford hit a triple and scored on a line drive. By the end of the outing, Pomeranz’ fastball was only 87-90 mph, per beat reporters on the scene. This is obviously not an encouraging development, as Pomeranz’ performance this year can be the difference between a good and great rotation. On the other hand, it’s just his first spring start and right now it’s just about building arm strength. I’ll be more concerned if this continues to happen in his next few outings.

Bullpen continues its solid spring

Immediately following Pomeranz on the mound for the Red Sox were four potential major-league relievers, and they all had good days. Joe Kelly struck out one and walked one in a hitless, shutout inning. Matt Barnes was even more impressive, throwing a one-two-three frame with two strikeouts. Robby Scott continued to impress the coaching staff with a clean inning himself, albeit with no strikeouts. Noe Ramirez struck out two in his inning of work, but he also walked a batter. The first three pitchers have a chance at making the Opening Day roster, but with varying percentages to be put on those chances. Ramirez will likely start the year in Pawtucket, but could be one of the top depth options. Jalen Beeks and Erik Cordier were less successful in relief on Tuesday, with each allowing a run. Neither is expected to contribute this year, though. Shawn Haviland finished things off with a scoreless inning that included three strikeouts and a walk.

Mitch Moreland and Steve Selsky keep hitting

There hasn’t been any big breakout stars this spring on the offensive side of things for the Red Sox, but Moreland and Selsky have stood out in their games. They each had just one hit in this one, but both of the hits were important ones. Moreland scored two to tie the game in the third inning on a hard-hit single with the bases loaded. The first baseman is now hitting .318 this spring. Selsky, meanwhile, broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning on a two-run double to left field. Selsky is on the top of the outfield depth chart in Pawtucket, and could be expected to receive a call if one of the current outfielders gets hurt. He’s also reportedly caught the eye of Farrell. Pedroia had the other RBI for Boston, and Marco Hernandez had the other extra base hit with a double of his own.