That first inning though
Despite making the long(ish) trip to Bradenton, the Red Sox lineup did not hesitate to do damage against Pirates starter Drew Hutchison on Tuesday evening. After Brock Holt led the game off with a single and stole second base, Mookie Betts hit a two-run shot out to left field to give Boston the early 2-0 lead. Shortly after that, following a Chris Young single, Jackie Bradley hit a two-run homer of his own to put the Red Sox up four. Finally, with two runners on base and two outs, Heiker Meneses hit a bases-clearing double to give the team a six run inning. Not a bad way to start off the night, to be quite honest.
Steven Wright is solid again
There is some concern in the Red Sox pitching staff right now, as you may have heard. David Price will be out until at least May. Tyler Thornburg is going to miss the beginning of the season and his timeline for return is unclear. Despite all that, there are some reasons for excitement. One of those is Steven Wright. After getting off to a slow start this spring in recovering from his shoulder injury from last summer, he has looked good this spring. That continued on Tuesday as he allowed just one run over four innings of work. Now, it wasn’t a perfect outing. Wright did walk three batters and allowed four hits that included one double. Still, he got out of any trouble he found himself in and kept runs off the board. He’s not pitched 13 1⁄3 innings this spring and has allowed just one run.
Bullpen looks good, too
With the Thornburg injury, the Red Sox will need their middle relievers to step up in his absence. Joe Kelly is likely the most important of that crew. He took the mound in the seventh in this contest and tossed a scoreless inning with two strikeouts and one walk. I’m still worried about his command (I will literally never not be worried about this. This is a me problem.), but he’s looked good much more often than not this spring. Robbie Ross also figures to play a big role this season, particularly if they carry three lefties to start the year. This, of course, would mean more appearances versus righties for Ross. He tossed a perfect inning with one strikeout tonight, continuing a decent spring that has just included two extremely poor outings. Also appearing were Ben Taylor, Austin Maddox and Edgar Olmos. The first two threw scoreless innings while Olmos allowed a run in the ninth.