Break up the Red Sox! Boston has evened up their record here in spring training with a win over the Twins on Wednesday, their second in a row and their second big day at the plate in as many days. Bobby Dalbec led the way, and he’ll lead the way in our notables from the afternoon.
Two homers for Bobby D
The Red Sox bats were red hot on Wednesday, plating 14 runs on the afternoon. But it was Bobby Dalbec leading the charge with a big two-homer game. He got the party started in the third, leading things off against Alex Colomé. Colomé, if you’ll recall, was connected to the Red Sox at one point this offseason before signing with the Twins. We’ll call this retribution. Dalbec got a 3-1 fastball up in the zone on the outer half of the plate and was all over it, sending it out the other way for a solo home run to lead off the inning and give Boston their first run of the day, and their first of four runs in the inning.
The fourth was the big inning for the Red Sox this afternoon — they scored eight runs while recording just a single out — and Dalbec started the scoring with a homer here as well. This time he had a runner standing on first, but other than that it was almost a carbon copy. Glen Sparkmann was on the bump for Minnesota for this at bat, and the pitch was a hair lower in the zone, but once again Dalbec showed off the opposite field power and it gave him three home runs already this spring.
Dalbec is going to be a big part of the bottom of the lineup with a clear path to near-everyday playing time at first base. They did bring in Marwin Gonzalez who can provide some relief at times, but Dalbec will get every chance to run with the opportunity. We’re not making judgements about that on March 3, but so far so good, to say the least.
Eduard Bazardo looks good again
Speaking of rookies who may make an impact this year, Eduard Bazardo made his second appearance of the spring and for a second time looked good doing it. The righty was the second pitcher to come on for the Red Sox in this one, handling the third inning. He needed only 12 pitches to get through the side in order, striking out 2020 first round draft pick Aaron Sabato in the process. He has now retired all six batters he’s faced to start his spring, and all six have been Twins.
Bazardo is not likely to start the year in the majors, instead probably heading to the Alternate Site in Worcester. But he was one of the standouts for the club down at Instructs in the fall and that led to him being added to the 40-man over the winter. The bullpen depth chart has a tendency to shift more quickly than just about any other spot on the diamond, so if he keeps throwing like this all spring and carries it into Worcester, he could be up sooner than later and get a shot to cement himself as a mainstay in this bullpen.
- Enrique Hernández is having a terrific start to his spring. Alex Cora has publically challenged him and even indicated he may get some run at the leadoff spot in the regular season, and he’s sure running with that so far through a few games. Obviously the sample is tiny, but he had two doubles plus a walk in three plate appearances this afternoon. He’s now 4-5 with three walks over his first three games in a Red Sox uniform. It is worth mentioning he did make another error at shortstop as well.
- It was a nice day for J.D. Martinez as well, who got his first extra base hit of the spring with a double in the third and added a single to the tally as well for a multi-hit effort, joining Dalbec and Hernández in that club.
- Getting the start in this one was Nick Pivetta, who is looking to carry over his late-season success from last summer into his first full season in Boston. He’s almost certainly going to start the year in the rotation barring injury, and he was... fine today. He gave up a solo homer to Mitch Garver in the first and had another batter reach on the Hernández error, but was otherwise clean in two innings of work. He struck out one as well.
- Also pitching in this one who has not been mentioned were: Kaleb Ort, a minor-league Rule 5 pick this winter who allowed a solo homer to Kyle Garlick, issued a walk and struck out one in an inning of work; Seth Blair, a minor-league signing from last summer who allowing four runs on three hits, including at three-run shot from Nelson Cruz, in an inning of work; Caleb Simpson, a minor-league signing from last summer who allowed just a single in a scoreless inning; and Raynel Espinal, a minor-league Rule 5 pick from two winters ago who struck out the side to end the game.
- Also getting hits who haven’t been mentioned were: Marwin Gonzalez, who got the start at second and knocked in a pair with a single in that big fourth inning; Jonathan Araúz, who came in as a sub for Gonzalez and had a double while scoring a couple runs; Hunter Renfroe, who started in right field and cleared the bases with a double; Jarren Duran, who came in as a sub and continued his hot spring with an RBI double; Christian Vázquez, who started behind the plate and had a single, scored a run, and struck out twice; César Puello, who started in left field and had a single and a walk while scoring twice; and Michael Gettys, who started in center and had the same line as Puello except a double instead of a single.