The Red Sox continued their winning ways on Thursday afternoon by blowing out the Phillies at JetBlue Park. Boston romped Philadelphia, 15-3, to improve to 4-0-2 in Grapefruit League play.
Matched up against left-hander Bailey Falter out of the gate, the Sox got out to an early 1-0 lead in their half of the second inning. Christian Arroyo got his productive day at the plate started by crushing a leadoff home run to deep right field.
An inning later, Phillies reliever Griff McGarry loaded the bases for the Red Sox with only one out in the third. Rob Refsnyder then drew a bases-loaded walk to plate Enrique Hernandez from third. Arroyo followed by depositing a towering bases-clearing grand slam well over the faux Green Monster in left field. The second baseman’s second homer of the day and second of the spring gave his side a commanding 6-0 lead.
Following another Phillies pitching change that saw Tayhor Lehman take over for McGarry immediately after the righty gave up that grand slam, the Sox struck again as Jorge Alfaro laced a one-out single to center field. Alfaro went from first to third on a Jarren Duran double, but was thrown out at home plate. Duran, however, advanced to third on the play and then scored on an RBI double off the bat of Ryan Fitzgerald to make it a 7-0 contest heading into the fourth.
To that point, the Red Sox had used two pitchers. Tanner Houck, who got the start in what was spring debut, did not allow any runs or hits. But the right-hander struggled with his command and walked four of the nine batters he faced. Though he did record two strikeouts, Houck was limited to just 1 2/3 innings of work as a result of needing 41 pitches (2o strikes) to get five outs.
Durbin Feltman took over for Houck in the top half of the second and escaped a bases-loaded jam by getting old friend Kyle Schwarber to ground out to Justin Turner at first. He then retired the side in order in the third before giving way to Ryan Brasier, who served up a solo shot to Kody Clemens, in the fourth. Zack Kelly ran into additional trouble in the fifth, as he surrendered back-to-back run-scoring hits to Darrick Hall and Jake Cave, trimming Boston’s lead down to four runs at 7-3.
After quieting down for two innings, the Red Sox lineup kicked things back into high gear in the sixth. Duran, Wilyer Abreu, and Hernandez each drew walks off new Phillies reliever Andrew Baker. Rafael Devers then plated Duran and Abreu on a two-run double to center field before the pinch-running duo of Matthew Lugo and David Hamilton each scored on RBI groundouts from Daniel Palka and Ceddanne Rafaela.
In the bottom of the seventh, Boston put up another four-spot. Enmanuel Valdez drew a leadoff walk off Billy Sullivan and Elih Marrero and Marcus Wilson both reached base via a single and hit-by-pitch. With nowhere to put him, Abreu came through by clobbering yet another grand slam to deep right field to give the Red Sox a commanding 15-3 advantage.
Taking that sizable lead into the eighth, Matt Dermody put the finishing touches on his two scoreless frames out of the bullpen after Bryan Mata had already kept the Phillies off the board in the sixth. Taylor Broadway then slammed the door on Philadelphia in the ninth to secure the victory.
Other notable numbers:
Thursday’s contest between the Red Sox and Phillies took three hours and two minutes to complete, making it the longest game of the spring so far for Boston.
Devers, Turner, and Arroyo accounted for six of Boston’s 12 hits. Arroyo, Duran, and Abreu each scored two runs while Duran and Hernandez each drew two walks.
Wong leaves with hamstring injury
Connor Wong left Thursday’s game with a strained left hamstring. The 26-year-old replaced Alfaro behind the plate and got one at-bat in the fifth before being lifted for Marrero in the sixth inning. It’s unclear how Wong got injured but he is considered to be day-to-day.
Next up: Paxton takes the hill
The Red Sox will make the quick trip to Hammond Stadium on Friday afternoon to take on the Twins in the second game of the 2023 Chairman’s Cup. Veteran left-hander James Paxton will get the start for Boston opposite Minnesota right-hander Sonny Gray.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time. The game will be televised, but only on Bally Sports North.
(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Megan Briggs/Getty Images)