The Red Sox remained perfect in Grapefruit League play with a 3-2 victory over the Orioles at JetBlue Park on Sunday afternoon. They are now 4-0 this spring and have won all but one of their games by exactly one run.
Tanner Houck made his 2022 debut for Boston to close out the second weekend of spring training. The right-hander surrendered one earned run on one hit and three walks to go along with two strikeouts over 2 2/3 innings of work.
The lone run Houck gave up came right away in the top half of the first, when he yielded a solo homer to the second batter he faced in Ramon Urias. All three of the 25-year-old’s walks were issued in the second, but he got through the frame without giving anything up when Robert Neustrom lined out to Jackie Bradley Jr. and Bradley Jr. gunned down Kelvin Gutierrez at home for the final out.
Houck recorded the first two outs of the third rather simply before making way for Geoff Hartlieb, who sat down the only man he faced in Anthony Santander.
On the other side of things, the Boston bats collected all three of their runs in their half of the third. With old friend Denyi Reyes on the mound for Baltimore, Kevin Plawecki and Franchy Cordero ignited the rally with back-to-back one out singles.
Christian Arroyo then plated Plawecki on an RBI double to center field. Arroyo advanced to third when Franchy Cordero was thrown out at home on a grounder off the bat of Rafael Devers.
A fly-ball double to left field courtesy of Xander Bogaerts drove in Arroyo while J.D. Martinez scored Devers on an RBI single of his own to make it a 3-1 in favor of the Sox.
From there, Kutter Crawford struck out a pair looking in a perfect fourth, Josh Winckowski gave up two hits in a scoreless fifth, Taylor Cole plunked one batter in an otherwise clean sixth, and Tyler Danish fanned two in a 1-2-3 seventh inning.
In the eighth, however, righty reliever Durbin Feltman served up a leadoff home run to Orioles outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz, cutting Boston’s lead down to one run at 3-2.
Feltman managed to get through the rest of the eighth unscathed before making way for Eduard Bazardo, who recorded the save while stranding the potential tying run at second base.
All told, eight different Red Sox pitchers (Houck, Hartlieb, Crawford, Winckowski, Cole, Danish, Feltman, and Bazardo) combined to allow just two earned runs on five hits, three walks, one hit batsman, and 11 strikeouts over nine innings.
Next up: Toussaint vs. Wacha
Michael Wacha will make his Red Sox debut in a Grapefruit League bout against the Braves at JetBlue Park on Monday afternoon. The veteran right-hander will be opposed by fellow righty Touki Toussaint of Atlanta.
First pitch Monday is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time. The game will not be televised.
(Picture of Tanner Houck: Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)