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Red Sox 0, Twins 2: Shut out with one more game to go this spring

Tanner Houck made a couple mistakes, but was otherwise strong.

MLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

And with that, there is but one game left on the spring training schedule. Boston couldn’t get anything going with the bats on Monday for their penultimate game in Grapefruit League action, dropping one against the Twins 2-0. We’ll go with quick bullet points on today’s highlights, for one because the day is getting away from me and also because there’s really not a ton to talk about!

  • Tanner Houck got the start in this one and should be lined up to start the third game of the regular season. The righty was mostly good in his final outing of the spring, striking out seven Twins in six innings — hell, even going six innings is something of a big deal for him, though with exhibition substitutions he’s not really turning the lineup over — while walking just one. That said, he did give up the two runs on the day on a pair of solo homers. The first was on a pitch that wasn’t really that bad, a two-seamer that ran down and in but that Miguel Sanó was still able to clean out and launch to left field. In his final inning, Houck threw what looked like another two-seamer, this one to Max Kepler, and this one didn’t quite move as much as he wanted. Instead, it stayed on the outer half of the plate and Kepler took it the other way for a solo shot. Still, even with the two homers this was a mostly positive day for the Red Sox righty.
  • We also finally got to see Hansel Robles make his spring debut. The righty was signed shortly after the lockout but his arrival to camp was delayed due to visa issues. The stuff looked pretty good for a guy who has missed most of camp, and he tossed a scoreless inning on a single and a walk with two strikeouts. I’m not sure Robles will be there right at the start of the season only due to not being totally ready and having such little time in camp, but it’s not impossible he starts the season in the majors based on how he looked in this one. If he’s not on the Opening Day roster, I’d expect him to be up within a week, or two at the most.
  • The offense really struggled in this one, with only three hits. One was a leadoff double from Xander Bogaerts, and that only happened because Kepler and Nick Gordon collided going for the ball. That was a scary play, too, with Gordon on the ground for quite some time before getting himself into the front seat of the cart to be taken off the field. Fortunately, it seems like he did avoid anything too serious as far as injury goes.
  • The other hits in the game were from Bobby Dalbec, who started at first and got a single, and Yolmer Sánchez, who came off the bench to play second base and had a single as well.
  • The other two pitchers in this game were Jake Diekman, who looked better in this one striking out two and walking one, and Hirokazu Sawamura, who struck out the only batter he faced to finish out the game.