The Red Sox fell to 6-10 in Grapefruit League on Sunday afternoon following a 8-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte, marking their fifth consecutive defeat.
Making his 2019 debut in this one for Boston was Rick Porcello. The right-hander, who is entering the final season of his original four-year contract extension he signed in 2015, surrendered two runs on four hits, two of which were home runs, and no walks to go along with one strikeout in three innings of work.
As that line indicates, the only runs given up by Porcello came on a pair of Tampa Bay solo homers in the second and third innings off the bats of Joey Wendle and Mike Zunino.
In total, the 30-year-old hurler faced 15 hitters in his first action of the spring.
From the middle of the fourth inning on, Hector Velazquez, Brandon Workman, Colten Brewer, and Brian Ellington combined to allow six runs to cross the plate on 11 hits, four of which were homers, two walks, and six strikeouts over the final five frames of this one.
Like Porcello, Velazquez and Workman each gave up a pair of long balls, as Guillermo Heredia and Avisail Garcia went yard in the fourth and fifth innings, while Heredia and Nate Lowe did the same for the Rays in their half of the sixth.
If anything, both Brewer and Ellington held Tampa Bay scoreless in their individual innings of relief, but the Red Sox bullpen has been a rough spot thus far through 16 Grapefruit League games.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup could not muster more than two runs for the FIFTH straight day. And guess what? They haven’t won any of their last five games!
The lone Boston managed to tally in this one came in the seventh inning, when with one out and Diego Castillo on the hill for Tampa Bay, Steve Pearce grounded into a run-scoring out at first while Aneury Tavarez came around to score from third to make it a 8-1 game at the time. That would go on to be the final score in this Sunday afternoon contest.
Some notes from this loss:
Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, Steve Pearce, and Eduardo Nunez went a combined 2/12 at the plate with one walk and one RBI.
Brock Holt was slated to start at second, but was scratched at the last-minute due to back spasms. He is considered day-to-day.
I get that it’s just spring training, I really do, but can I at least say the last week has been frustrating to watch? Because it has.
Next up for the Red Sox, it’s an off day on Monday before hosting the Detroit Tigers for at JetBlue Park the first time this spring
Monday will not be a typical day off though, as Chris Sale is set to pitch in a minor league game beginning at approximately 11:40 AM on one of the Fenway South backfields.
On Tuesday, we’ll see a starting pitching matchup featuring two left-handers who were once part of the same trade.
For Detroit, it will be Daniel Norris getting the starting nod, while 2018 postseason hero David Price will make his 2019 debut and do the same.
Go back to July of 2015, and these two southpaws were part of the same deal that sent Price from Detroit to the Toronto Blue Jays and Norris from Toronto to Detroit.
First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 1:05 PM EDT at JetBlue. Unfortunately, it does not look like this game will be televised. Monday should be fun, though.