The Red Sox are back in the win column with a victory at home on Wednesday afternoon, taking down the Braves in a 10-7 win. Here are the notes from the day.
Trevor Story finally debuts
It’s been well over a week since we first learned that Trevor Story was signing a six-year deal with the Red Sox, but we still hadn’t seen him in game action in a Red Sox uniform after his original debut was ultimately pushed back as he left the team for the birth of his first child. On Wednesday, he finally made his first appearance with the team, and it went well. Playing second base and hitting sixth in the lineup, the newest Red Sox hitter drew a walk in his first plate appearance and later had a single to knock in a run. He’d strike out in his third plate appearance. He wasn’t the story of the game, per se, but he kind of was, ya know?
Three homers for the offense
The real story for this game against the defending champs was the offense punishing Braves pitching, and specifically starter Ian Anderson. The homer barrage started with Rafael Devers, who hit second in this game and it seems that will be his lineup spot at least against righties for much of this season. In his first plate appearance of the day, he launched one over everything in left field for a two-run homer. We know Devers can hit, and he’s showing it already this spring. This was his fourth homer, tying the man, the myth, the legend Ryan Fitzgerald, and he’s got a cool 1.456 OPS this spring.
The other two homers came from players hitting their first of the spring. First up was Christian Vázquez, who is looking to bounce back from a tough offensive season in which he took a big step back compared to the previous two seasons. The catcher hit a two-run shot in the third. In the next inning, this time with Dylan Lee on the mound for Atlanta, Jonathan Araúz hit his first homer of the spring, this one a solo shot. Araúz is in something of a competition with guys like Yolmer Sánchez, Jeter Downs, and the aforementioned Fitzgerald to be the first infielder up in case of injury.
Tanner Houck gets the start
On the mound for this one was Tanner Houck, who seemingly is slotting in as the number three starter behind Nathan Eovaldi and Nick Pivetta, at least based upon how they’re lining up this spring. He’s been a bit up and down this spring, and with the Chris Sale injury they need someone to step up and there’s a good argument for Houck being that important X-Factor. He looked the part in this game, working around some trouble with five hits (though four of them were singles) over four innings of work, only allowing one run. Most importantly, he did a good job controlling the strike zone with four strikeouts and no walks.
- On Tuesday, Kaleb Ort pitched very well in a loss, coming in for a perfect inning. He was back out there on Wednesday, and things didn’t go nearly as well. The righty, who will be fighting for a call up this season after an impressive Triple-A showing in 2021, only recorded two outs while allowing four runs on four hits, two of which were home runs.
- Along with Devers, Bobby Dalbec is also having a hot spring and he continued it here in this one. Playing first base in this game, he got on base in all three of his plate appearances, coming through with a single, a double, and a walk.
- The game was closed out with an inning each from four pitchers who project to be in the Opening Day bullpen. Hirokazu Sawamura didn’t allow a run in his inning, giving up a single in an otherwise perfect inning. Ryan Brasier also didn’t allow a run, though there was more trouble for him as he allowed a double, a single and a walk while striking out a pair. Matt Barnes had the toughest day of this group, allowing a run on a double, a single, and a walk with a strikeout mixed in. Finally, new addition Matt Strahm had a good showing with a scoreless inning that included a single and a strikeout.
- The other pitcher in this game who has not been mentioned is minor leaguer Ryan Fernandez, who finished Ort’s inning, but allowed a home run before he could record that final out of the fifth.
- The other players getting hits in this game who have not been mentioned were: J.D. Martinez, who started at DH and went 2-3 with two singles and a walk; Franchy Cordero, who came off the bench to play left field and went 2-3 with a pair of doubles; Enrique Hernández, who led off and played center field while going 1-3 with a single and a walk, scoring both times he was on base; and Alex Verdugo, who started in left field and went 1-2 with a double.