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Red Sox 2, Astros 6: The bullpen blows it

Eduardo Rodriguez was solid, but the bullpen couldn’t hold his lead.

MLB: Spring Training-Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Donning their green St. Patty’s day caps, the Red Sox couldn’t come home with the victory on this, the most sacred Boston holiday.

Eduardo Rodriguez continues to look solid

When Venezuela advanced to the second round of the World Baseball Classic, Eduardo Rodriguez had a chance to join his country mates in San Diego. Instead, he chose to stay with the Red Sox and continue working towards what will hopefully be his first full, consistent season as a major leaguer. Friday marked his fourth start of the spring, and he put together his fourth straight strong outing. It wasn’t perfect, as he walked three batters in his four innings of work, but it was good. In addition to the free passes he gave up two singles and struck out six Astros without allowing a run. Rodriguez has now thrown 13 innings this spring and has a 13/5 K/BB. With David Price starting the year on the disabled list, Rodriguez will start the year in the rotation. If he can build upon this, he’ll stay there.

The bullpen blows Rodriguez’ game

The results of these games don’t matter, but hopefully we don’t see many of Rodriguez’ starts being hurt like this one. Robby Scott did his job immediately after E-Rod, throwing a scoreless inning although he did allow a single and a walk in the process. He keeps pitching well as he tries to outpace Fernando Abad for that roster spot, though that competition has more to do with Abad’s performance than Scott’s. After that, Joe Kelly came in and allowed two runs on a double, a single and a walk in one inning of work. He picked up the loss and a blown save. If everything goes well, Kelly will be a key member of the bullpen, though today reminded us that there will be rough outings as well. Noe Ramirez followed up Kelly, and he was even worse. The righty allowed four runs on three doubles, two singles and a walk while recording just one out. Ramirez hopes to be a depth piece in 2017, but he has work to do if he wants to stick in the majors for any significant amount of time. Ben Taylor and Austin Maddox finished things off with 2 23 scoreless innings as the former struck out three batters without allowing a base runner.

Quiet day for the offense

The Red Sox offense couldn’t do much against an Astros pitching lineup that didn’t include much talent outside of prospect Frances Martes. No one had more than one hit, and no one had an extra-base hit. Sam Travis did continue his hot spring with an RBI single, though he also struck out in his other two plate appearances. Deven Marrero had the other RBI.