The Red Sox fell to 6-7 in Grapefruit League play on Thursday following a blowout 12-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins at JetBlue Park. The race for the 2019 Chairman’s Cup is now tied at two games a piece.
Brian Johnson, who was scratched from his start last Saturday, was back at it for Boston this afternoon.
The left-hander may have still been dealing with some lingering symptoms though, as he surrendered three earned runs, all of which came in the second, on five hits without a walk or strikeout in 1.1 innings of work.
Before getting pulled though, we saw our first glimpse of Dustin Pedroia back at second base, as he fielded a ground ball off the bat of Jake Cave for the 4-3 put out to retire the side in the first.
Anyway, not taking any extreme measures, Red Sox manager Alex Cora quickly made the call for Trevor Kelley out of the bullpen with one out and a runner on third in the top of the second.
The right-handed Kelley retired the only hitter he faced in Willians Astudillo, who lined out to Rafael Devers to start an inning-ending double play with a force out at third.
From there, Brandon Workman, Erasmo Ramirez, Marcus Walden, Matthew Gorst, Jake Thompson, and Daniel Schlereth combined to give up nine runs (seven earned) on 13 hits, four walks, one HBP, and seven punch outs.
Thompson, a 2017 fourth round draft selection out of Oregon State, got hit the hardest out of any Red Sox reliever on Thursday, as all three runs off the right-hander came on back-to-back Twins home runs in the eighth.
Schlereth, meanwhile, faced the minimum three hitters while working around a leadoff walk in a scoreless ninth inning.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was held in check yet again, putting up one lone run on just five hits.
One bright spot from this one would be the day Dustin Pedroia had in his 2019 debut.
In his first in-game action since last May, the four-time All-Star, batting out of the leadoff spot and manning second base, went 1/1 with a first inning infield single.
He also advanced to second on a wild pitch from Twins starter Kohl Stewart and scored Boston’s lone run on a Rafael Devers RBI double.
Some notes from this 12-1 loss:
ESPN had both Mookie Betts and Brock Holt mic’d up for this one and the Red Sox Twitter account was kind enough to post some of the highlights.
Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll head to Sarasota to take on the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium on Friday.
Top pitching prospect Darwinzon Hernandez will make the start for Boston, while right-hander Andrew Cashner will do the same for Baltimore.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 EST Friday. MLB Network will be the way to go, as this game will not be on NESN.