The Red Sox are on a nice little run that doesn’t count, as they’ve lost just twice since the calendar turned to March. Of course, there’s a tie mixed in there because it’s spring training and nothing really matters. Eat at Arby's. Regardless, wins are cool, and home runs are even cooler (at least in spring training).
Mookie and Hanley go yard
The Red Sox got off to a quick start on Tuesday with Joe Ross on the mound for Washington. After the Nationals’ starter got two quick outs to start the game, Mookie Betts had some different ideas. The 2016 MVP runner-up took a fastball left right over the heart of the plate and deposited the ball right into the lawn seats in left field. Watch it in all of its glory here. Betts had been homerless in spring to this point, which obviously isn’t a concern, but it’s nice to see him tally one up. Hanley Ramirez came to the plate immediately after Betts, and he had some fun too. Ramirez has been battling some shoulder soreness in camp, but it didn’t show here. As jaaaaasper said in the comments of the lineup/gamethread, that poor ball had a family. It was Ramirez’ second homer of the spring, and he’s looking like he’s ready to take some of the burden for replacing David Ortiz’ power.
Sandoval comes through with a big hit
Besides the two homers, it was mostly a quiet day for the Red Sox lineup. Their only other offense came in the fourth, when they plated three runs. Two of them were thanks to Pablo Sandoval. After Ramirez and Mitch Moreland walked to leadoff the inning and Jackie Bradley hit a one-out single, Sandoval had a chance for some damage with the bases loaded. He didn’t give that chance up, as he ripped a two-run single through the right side to score two. A groundout from Blake Swihart scored the third run. Sandoval is having a nice spring, as he’s gotten his batting average up to .333 with a .762 OPS. We’ll have to wait until April to see if he’s really back, but it’s at least better than the performance he put together last spring. Deven Marrero had a double in this game, which was the only extra-base hit besides the homers.
Shaky day for Eduardo Rodriguez
With David Price looking questionable for the start of the season, it’s looking likely that Rodriguez will be a shoo-in for the Opening Day rotation. After a strong first outing in camp, he faltered a bit on Tuesday. After two quick outs to start the games, including a leadoff strikeout, he allowed a single to Bryce Harper. This was immediately followed by a double that Anthony Rendon ripped down the third base line that would score Harper. In the second inning, Rodriguez allowed a one-out single to Derek Norris, who scored on a double from Wilmer Difo. This was also ripped down the third base line, and there could’ve possibly been more damage done in the inning had Difo not gotten thrown out in a rundown between second and third base. Rodriguez did pitch a scoreless third with one walk mixed in. Overall, it was good to see Rodriguez get through his three innings and it was good that the damage wasn’t done on deep balls. It wasn’t an ideal outing, but it’s also no reason to worry about having him make some regular season starts when the time comes.
A mostly good day for the bullpen
With it being a travel day, there weren’t many major-leaguers scheduled to throw after Rodriguez. Matt Barnes was the only sure major leaguers in action, and he tossed a scoreless fifth allowing just one single. Marcus Walden, Edgar Olmos, Austin Maddox and Luis Ysla also threw scoreless innings. Ben Taylor allowed one run in his inning of work that also included two singles and two walks.