Friday was a big day for the Red Sox and Red Sox fans, as Chris Sale made his first start of the spring on the road to face the Marlins. Boston did not get the win, but that’s okay because the final score doesn’t really matter this time of year. There was one particularly bad inning for the pitchers, but Sale did his thing. That last part is the part that really matters for Boston.
Happy Sale Day
We’ll get right into Sale, since that’s what everyone cares about from this game. Friday’s game wasn’t televised, which meant we didn’t get to witness Sale being Sale with our eyeballs, but some of us at least got to hear it with our earballs. Boston’s ace had a really strong outing, because of course he did. Sale did allow a run in his fourth and final inning on a double followed by an eventual sac fly. Other than that, though, he was golden. All told, he tossed four innings and allowed the one run on a double and a single while striking out five Marlins. Baseball season is officially here with the first Sale Day in the books.
Brandon Workman struggles out of the bullpen
When Sale left the game, the Red Sox turned to Brandon Workman to hopefully get through a couple innings of work as Alex Cora seemingly tries to stretch out some of the relievers for multi-inning usage. Workman’s first frame wasn’t too bad as he worked around a walk and a single to escape the frame unscathed, partially thanks to Christian Vazquez gunning down J.B. Shuck on an attempted steal. Things got worse in the sixth, though. Workman did get a couple of groundouts to start it off, but he followed that up with a single, a double and another single to score two runs and leave one on when he left. Minor league swingman Daniel Gonzalez came in next and promptly allowed a two-run homer to finish off the four-run sixth for the Marlins. A couple of lefties finished things off for the Red Sox, with Roenis Elias going in the seventh and tossing a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts and Bobby Poyner tossing a scoreless eighth with one walk. Both Elias and Poyner have had strong springs and have to make Boston feel a little better about their left-handed depth in the high-minors.
Sam Travis leads the way at the plate
The Red Sox offense didn’t send a whole lot of their top-tier players, but the guys who did make the trip to Jupiter (Florida, not the planet, you fool) did...fine. The best day at the plate went to Sam Travis who went 2-3 with a two-run home run and a single. He also got the start in left field as the team tries to expand his versatility. It’s another strong spring for Travis who’s now up to a .270 batting average with a .911 OPS. The Red Sox got another multi-inning game from Christian Vazquez who smacked a single and a double in the game while also scoring a run. Those were the only two with multiple hits, though they did get another home run. That one was another two-run homer, this time off the bat of Aneury Tavarez. And, of course, there was the seventh double of the spring from Blake Swihart, who DH’d in this game. On the negative side, it was another hitless game for Mitch Moreland who has just two hits in 14 at bats and a .276 OPS in the spring. It’s likely not a big deal for the Red Sox’ plans with him, though if the poor start continues he could cede more early-season playing time to Hanley Ramirez.