The Red Sox partook in some split-squad action Wednesday, hosting the Baltimore Orioles at JetBlue Park and making the trek to Port Charlotte to face the Tampa Bay Rays.
In Fort Myers, reigning American League MVP Mookie Betts made his 2019 spring debut, starting in right field and batting in the two-hole behind Jackie Bradley Jr.
Speaking of Bradley Jr., the outfielder stayed hot on Wednesday as he led things off against Orioles starter Gabriel Ynoa with his second home run of the spring, a line drive to dead center.
Bradley Jr. also collected a single in the fourth inning, a hit he said, “that’s a ball I would roll over. And I was able to hit the path correctly and I was able to get it over the infielder’s head.” It looks like that modified swing is already paying off for the 2018 Gold Glove winner.
Betts, meanwhile, failed to collect a hit a hit in three at bats, striking out once. Remember, in 2018, the Tennessee native started his spring by going 0-for-his-first-16. Nothing to worry about there.
Top prospect Michael Chavis was also in Wednesday’s lineup against Baltimore, and he picked up right where he left off from this past weekend by mashing another three-run home run in the bottom half of the fourth off of Bo Schultz, his third in the last five days.
Chavis, 23, is slashing .444/.500/1.944 with three homers and nine RBI so far this spring.
Tzu-Wei Lin and Oscar Hernandez also collected RBI in the ninth inning of this one in a 7-6 loss for Boston.
Pitching wise, Eduardo Rodriguez made his 2019 spring debut against the team he originally signed with as an international free agent in 2010.
The left-hander started things off by working the first two innings on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of earned runs on three hits and one walk to go along with three strikeouts.
Tyler Thornburg also made his first relief appearance of 2019 in the fourth, surrendering two runs on two hits, one of which a two-run homer off the bat of Orioles catcher Chance Sisco.
Darwinzon Hernandez and Marcus Walden each impressed to close this thing out, putting together a combined four shutout innings and holding Baltimore to four baserunners.
Meanwhile, in Port Charlotte, Rafael Devers had himself a fine day at the plate against the Rays, finishing 3/3 with a home run and two RBI batting third in the Red Sox lineup.
Pinch-running specialist Tony Renda also went deep in this contest, taking Tampa Bay right-hander Jacob Faria yard with a solo home run of his own in the seventh inning.
Boston’s eighth-ranked prospect CJ Chatham also drove in a run on a fourth inning RBI single.
RHP Mike Shawaryn made his first official start of the spring on Wednesday. The University of Maryland product surrendered two runs on two hits, one strikeout, and one walk in the lone frame he appeared in.
Opening Day roster hopeful Travis Lakins had the best day of any Red Sox hurler in this second game of a split-squad doubleheader, as the right-hander worked two scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth, giving up just one hit and one walk while striking out one as well.
The Red Sox fell to the Rays by a final score of 5-4.
Next up for Boston, they’ll welcome the Washington Nationals into JetBlue Park on Thursday afternoon.
Scheduled to start for the Nationals is three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, while Hector Velazquez is set to get the ball for the Red Sox.
Should be an exciting one.
First pitch on Thursday is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET and the game will air on Boston 25 if you’re in the Boston market, and NESN if you are not.
Rest in Peace, Romell Jordan.