The Red Sox fell to a not so nice 6-9 in Grapefruit League play on Saturday afternoon following a blowout 10-2 loss at the hands of the New York Mets at JetBlue Park, marking their fourth straight defeat.
Eduardo Rodriguez got the start in this one and was impressive yet again, as the left-hander worked the first four frames and held New York to just one run on three hits and one walk to go along with a trio of strikeouts. He faced 15 hitters.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora said that he would like to see Rodriguez be more aggressive following his previous start this past Monday.
When asked about the Venezuela native’s outing on Saturday, Cora seemed encouraged with what he saw.
In relief of Rodriguez, Matt Barnes, Tyler Thornburg, Josh Taylor, and Domingo Tapia surrendered nine runs on 12 hits, one walk, and four strikeouts over the final five innings.
For Barnes, Saturday’s outing marked the right-hander’s 2019 spring debut. He allowed hits to four of the first five hitters he faced , which in turn resulted in three New York runs coming around to score in the fifth.
Thornburg, meanwhile, served up a monster solo home run to Mets first baseman Pete Alonso to lead off the sixth before allowing an additional two runs as well.
Through four appearances and four innings pitched this spring, the former Brewer owns a gargantuan 15.75 ERA and 3.00 WHIP.
When asked about Thronburg’s underwhelming performances so far in 2019, Cora implied that it’s now “go-time,” for the right-hander.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was held in check by Mets starter Zack Wheeler, as the 28-year-old hurler allowed just one hit and no walks while fanning three over four shutout innings of work.
As a matter of fact, the only inning Boston could put across any runs came in the first inning without Wheeler on the mound for New York in the bottom half of the fifth.
Blake Swihart got the scoring started with a two out RBI single off Kyle Dowdy to plate Sam Travis from second, and Andrew Benintendi drove in Swihart on another RBI single that also happened to end the inning with Christian Vazquez getting thrown out at home.
That made it a 4-2 game at the time, but the Mets would go on to score six unanswered, as the final score in this one was 10-2 in favor of New York.
Some notes from this loss:
Blake Swihart went 1/2 on Saturday with that RBI single. He started at catcher and played the first five innings.
Speaking of catchers, Christian Vazquez, who DH’d, went 2/3 on Saturday with a double and a strikeout.
Rafael Devers went 1/3 with a triple. He has yet to hit a three-bagger in a regular season game.
Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll look to put a stop to their four-game skid on the road against the Tampa Bay Ray in Port Charlotte on Sunday.
Right-hander Rick Porcello is set to make his first start of 2019 in this one, while fellow righty Casey Sadler will make the start for Tampa Bay.
First pitch at Charlotte Sports Park on Sunday is scheduled for 1:05 PM EDT. NESN will have it covered.