Andrew Benintendi takes center stage...again
It wasn’t quite as dominant as his performance on Saturday, but Andrew Benintendi is not looking like a rookie this spring. Of course, he’s just barely a rookie, but his performances have been exciting nonetheless. In this one, he had two doubles in three at bats, also scoring a run and knocking one in. Even his out was beautiful, as it came on a smashed line drive to center field. Spring training performances don’t mean anything, and we’re not going to learn more about Benintendi over the next month. That being said, it’s exciting as hell to watch him play.
Offense comes from unexpected places
Besides Benintendi, the offensive outburst did not come from the players you expected. Hanley Ramirez, Mitch Moreland and Jackie Bradley all went hitless, and Dustin Pedroia at the top of the lineup just had a single. Mookie Betts also had one hit, although his was an RBI double and he’d knock another run in later with a sacrifice fly. Marco Hernandez, who subbed in for Pedroia, was the other big performer of the day. The infielder had two singles in three at bats and scored both times he reached base as well as knocking in a run. There’s an outside chance of Hernandez making the Opening Day roster if he plays well this spring, and he’s doing his part thus far. Meanwhile, Sam Travis and Rusney Castillo each contributed an RBI double. Neither of them are going to make the Opening Day roster, but the former continues to show there’s real potential in his bat.
The pitching came through, too
Like I said at the top, Atlanta didn’t exactly send the cream of the crop to face the Red Sox on Sunday. Even so, it was an encouraging day for Boston pitching. Kyle Kendrick got the start, and he threw four hitless innings and faced the minimum. He did walk one, but turned around and induced a double play. He’ll be part of the mix fighting for a higher spot on the rotation depth chart. Coming out of the bullpen were Heath Hembree, Robbie Ross, Noe Ramirez, Brandon Worman and Luis Ysla. Ross allowed the only run of the game, allowing a double, a single and a walk. Hembree, meanwhile, was the most impressive as he struck out three of the four batters he faced. Ysla also tossed a 1-2-3 inning.
Sox succeeded on the base paths, too
With David Ortiz leaving, one of the ways in which the Red Sox are expected to make up for the loss is by showing off their athleticism on the base paths more often than in the past. It makes sense, given all of their youth in the lineup. On Sunday, they stole three bags in three tries. Bradley, Hernandez and Tzu-Wei Lin swiped the bags. On the other side, Christian Vazquez made up for his hitless day by gunning down Micah Johnson on an attempted steal.