The Red Sox battled their way back and improved to 2-0 in Grapefruit League play with another 8-5 win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon at JetBlue Park.
Making a brief one inning start in this one was ex-Rays right-hander Ryan Weber, who signed a minor league contract with Boston in December.
Greeted right away with a leadoff home run off the bat of Twins slugger Max Kepler, the 28-year-old Weber certainly did not make a positive first impression with his new club, as he went on to surrender an additional run on two doubles and a hit by pitch.
What transpired an inning later was far from promising as well, with left-hander Dedgar Jimenez serving up a pair of home runs to Randy Cesar and Kepler again in his lone frame of work.
From there, Red Sox pitching improved immensely. Brandon Workman, Colten Brewer, Denyi Reyes, Mark Montgomery, and Matthew Gorst all impressed in their spring debuts, combining for six innings of one run ball.
It should be noted that Workman and Brewer both struck out the side in their respective innings of relief.
Brewer, 26, was acquired from the San Diego Padres in November and looks primed to win a spot in Boston’s bullpen to begin the season.
Reyes, meanwhile, is the 30th-ranked prospect in the Red Sox’ farm system, according to MLB Pipeline. The 22-year-old right-hander posted a miniscule 1.97 ERA in 27 appearances (24 starts) and 155.2 innings pitched with Greenville and Salem this past season and was a surprise add to Boston’s 40-man roster in November.
Back to Sunday’s game, 18th-ranked prospect Kutter Crawford came on to close things out in the ninth following a four-run Red Sox rally in their half of the eighth.
Listed at 6’1″ and 192 pounds, the Florida Gulf Coast product worked his way around a bases loaded jam to eventually shut the door on the Twins, thus preserving the save as well as the win.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup featured a fair amount of regulars for the first time this spring.
Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, Brock Holt, Eduardo Nunez, and Christian Vazquez represented the top seven of Boston’s batting order and combined for just two hits.
Bradley Jr., who has been working on a modified swing this spring, made his presence felt immediately with a rocket of a solo home run off of Twins starter Martin Perez in the first inning.
In the second, a one out double off the bat of Eduardo Nunez eventually led to Boston’s second run of the afternoon coming around to score on a Sam Travis two out RBI single.
Fast forward to the sixth with the Twins leading 5-2, and Red Sox prospect Tate Matheny, son of former Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, pulled his team to within one run by mashing a monster two-run home run off of Massachusetts native Tim Collins.
Finally, in the eighth, fresh off a solid 2019 debut on Saturday, Michael Chavis impressed yet again by delivering in the clutch with a two-out go-ahead three run home run to left field off Twins reliever Pat Dean. His second three-run homer in as many days.
Following a Minnesota pitching change, Bobby Dalbec, who homered on Friday, tacked on some insurance with an RBI single that plated Jagger Rusconi from third.
That put Boston up 8-5, which would go on to be the final score in this one.
Next up for the Red Sox is the first road action of 2019, with a trip to Bradenton to face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates on deck for Monday.
According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Bobby Poyner, Sandy Leon, Blake Swihart, Michael Chavis, Bobby Dalbec, Tzu-Wei Lin, Sam Travis, Bryce Brentz, Rusney Castillo and Gorkys Hernandez are all set to appear tomorrow while Brian Johnson will handle the starting pitching duties.
RHP Jordan Lyles will make the start for Pittsburgh.
First pitch on Monday is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET at LECOM Park. It does not look like this game will be on NESN.