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Red Sox 3, Braves 5: Let the real baseball begin

Also, Jarren Duran hit a mammoth home run.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Atlanta Braves Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox lost on Tuesday by a score of 5-3 to the Braves, but we don’t really care that much about that. Spring is over. There are some slightly mailed-in notes from the day if you’re into that sort of thing, though:

Martín Pérez up and down in his final tuneup

The Red Sox sent Martín Pérez out to the mound for their final game of the spring, and he was a bit up and down, with Ozzie Albies in particular posing a problem for him. To be fair, the Braves second baseman poses a problem for many pitchers, particularly when he’s facing a lefty and hits from the right side of the plate. Albies got a double off of the Red Sox southpaw in the first inning of this game, and then in the fifth he had the big swing of the afternoon in which he obliterated a three-run shot out to left field.

The Albies at bats were the toughest moments of the game for Pérez, but he wasn’t exactly perfect beyond that either. The second was when Atlanta got their other run off of him, when they plated one on a Cristian Pache double. Overall Pérez allowed the four runs over five innings of work on four hits — the two doubles and homer plus a single — along with two walks and five strikeouts.

The up and down day was a fitting way to fit a spring that has largely been up and down for Pérez. In total, he has pitched to a 4.05 ERA, but that doesn’t really tell the full picture. He was outstanding early on, then had a really bad outing, then had an outing that was not great but was also greatly exacerbated by poor defense and luck, and then today’s outing. I think that trajectory is generally what to expect this year. He’ll look good, and bad, and everything in between, and hopefully he’ll settle in somewhere in the general vicinity of league-average. In the back of the rotation, that’ll do fine.

Other Notes

  • We’re mailing in this recap a little bit, but I would be remiss not to do a quick highlight of Jarren Duran, who has done nothing but excite since the Alternate Site opened up last summer. He put an exclamation point on the run, which has also included winter ball and this spring, in this final preseason game. He didn’t get the start, but he did get a pair of at bats. In the first, he smacked a double. In the second, he absolutely destroyed a baseball over everything in right field for his third homer of the spring. Duran finishes spring with a 1.069 OPS, and now we wait to see how long they delay his call up. I’m going to become a prisoner of the moment (I’m typing this minutes after his home run) and say it’ll be Memorial Day.
  • Getting hits in today’s game were: Hunter Renfroe, who finished off a solid spring with a multi-hit game, going 2-2 with a pair of singles while starting in right field; J.D. Martinez, who finishes spring on a major hot streak including another two-hit day today with a pair of singles and a pair of RBI; Alex Verdugo, who got the start in left field and went 1-2 with a double; and Michael Gettys, who had a quietly hot spring and came in off the bench for this one and hit a single in his only plate appearance.
  • Also pitching in this game who have not been mentioned were: Raynel Espinal, who will be organizational depth this year, and he tossed a scoreless inning on a double; and Seth Blair, who will also be organizational depth, and he allowed one run on a double, a walk, a hit batter and two strikeouts.