The Red Sox picked up another Grapefruit League win on Wednesday as they headed out on the road to take on prospect pitcher Mitch Keller and the right of the Pirates. The offense launched three homers against Pittsburgh pitching and Boston’s owns arms did solid enough en route to a 6-3 victory. Some notes!
It’s Jarren Duran SZN
We are less than a week into spring training, which means we are both dealing with a tiny sample as well as players who are not even close to regular-season ready. Pitchers especially are still working their way up, and we must resist the urge to get excited, right? Wrong! Jarren Duran has been a blast very early on in camp, and that continued in this one. The 2018 draftee got the start on Wednesday in center field and he made his mark in the second against Keller. After Nick Longhi, who has great hair, by the way, smacked a one-out double, Duran came up and showed off some of his power as he drove one the other way for a two-run shot. It was the first homer of the spring for the speedy outfielder. Duran is not known for his power, but he showed that he can drive a ball here and there if he gets a pitch to hit. Like I said, it’s been a good start for him as he now has five hits in his first eight at bats, including this homer and a single later in the game. He’s shown off his range in the field as well.
Michael Chavis and Josh Ockimey also go deep
Duran had the first homer of the day, but not the only one. Michael Chavis joined him not too long after. He came up in the fifth against former Padre Robbie Erlin and got one right in his wheelhouse. Chavis absolutely launched it out to left-center field in the way that he launches home runs for a solo shot. It was his first dinger of the year. Chavis also had a single and a walk in what was a strong showing for him in this one.
Then, a couple innings later in the seventh, Josh Ockimey faced off against Sam Howard and drove it way out to right field. He had the first homer of the spring for Boston over the weekend, and on Wednesday he made himself the first on the roster to get to two.
- Martín Pérez made his Red Sox debut in this one. It wasn’t a perfect day, but all in all it was fine. The lefty tossed two innings and allowed just an unearned run (Marco Hernández had a throwing error) on three strikeouts, a walk and a single.
- At the end of the game, Yoan Aybar stood out, striking out the side in a perfect inning of work. The lefty is still extremely raw with his command, but he’s on the 40-man roster now and has wicked stuff. He’s going to be fascinating to watch, both in his performance and how quickly the Red Sox do or do not push him, in 2020.
- Jeter Downs came in for the latter portion of the game, and in the seventh he showed off some of his skills. He drew a walk to start the inning, then stole second, moved to third on an error from the steal attempt and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly. Downs isn’t a blazer on the bases, but he’s got solid speed and a strong IQ on the bases to make the most of it.
- Rusney Castillo and Longhi joined Chavis and Duran with multi-hit efforts. Also getting hits in this game that haven’t been mentioned were: Kevin Plawecki and Joey Meneses.
- Also pitching besides Pérez and Aybar were: Josh Osich (one run in 1 2⁄3 innings), Durbin Feltman (faced one batter and got a ground out), and Colten Brewer (one run in two innings).
The Red Sox are back at home on Thursday to take on the Phillies at 1:05 PM ET. It will not be broadcasted in either market, though you can listen on 850 AM WEEI. I have not seen who is schedule to pitch.