David Hamilton’s two-run double propels Red Sox to 4-1 win over Marlins

Thanks to a four-run seventh inning against the Marlins on Sunday, the Red Sox remain unbeaten this spring. Boston improved to 6-0-3 in Grapefruit League play by defeating Miami by a final score of 4-1 at JetBlue Park.

Corey Kluber, making his second start of the spring for the Red Sox, scattered two hits and two walks to go along with four strikeouts over 2 2/3 scoreless innings of work. After facing the Marlins in his 2023 debut last Tuesday, the veteran right-hander kicked off his afternoon by punching out Luis Arraez, Jorge Soler, and Garrett Cooper in the top of the first. He then put runners on first and second base with only one out in the second, but escaped that jam by getting Joey Wendle to ground into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.

In the third, Kluber retired Miami’s No. 8 hitter, Jacob Stallings, before Jon Berti reached base on a fielding error committed by shortstop Christian Koss. He then fanned Soler for the second out of the inning, but followed that up by issuing a free pass to Cooper. Having already thrown 52 pitches to that point in the contest, Kluber was given the hook in favor of fellow righty Chase Shugart, who stranded the two runners he inherited by striking Jazz Chisholm Jr. out.

Richard Bleier, who the Red Sox acquired from the Marlins in January, took over for Shugart in the fourth and put up a zero by retiring the only three batters he faced. Fellow offseason trade acquisition Wyatt Mills was responsible for the fifth inning. Mills plunked Stallings to lead off the inning. The seasoned backstop then went from first to third on an Arraez single before scoring on a two-out RBI base hit from Cooper that gave Miami a 1-0 lead halfway through.

Kutter Crawford was called upon in the sixth and neutralized the Marlins lineup by racking up three strikeouts over three perfect frames of relief. While he was in the middle of that, the Red Sox offense came to life in their half of the seventh.

There, Devin Smeltzer gave up two singles while also beaning Justin Turner to fill the bases. The Marlins reliever then retired Niko Goodrum and Ryan Fitzgerald for the first two outs, but Narciso Crook kept the inning alive by drawing a bases-loaded walk to drive in the tying run from third. Ronaldo Hernandez did the same on the other side of a Miami pitching change and David Hamilton followed by plating both Ceddanne Rafaela and Crook by lacing a two-run ground-rule double into the Red Sox bullpen in right field.

That sequence put Boston up, 4-1, heading into the eighth. After Crawford — who was later credited with the the winning decision — capped his day off with another 1-2-3 frame, Kaleb Ort worked his way around a single and a walk in the ninth to pick up the save and secure the come-from-behind victory for the Red Sox.

Other notable numbers:

Sunday’s contest took two hours and 32 minutes to complete. In addition to going 2-for-2 with two RBIs, Hamilton also stole his first base of the spring in the sixth inning. Rafalea, a speedster himself, went 2-for-2 with a run scored off the bench.

Abreu strains left hamstring:

After leading off the seventh inning with a line-drive single, outfielder Wilyer Abreu was forced to exit with what was later diagnosed as a left hamstring strain. The 23-year-old will “be out for a while,” per Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

Next up: Sale Day

The Red Sox will conclude their homestand in Fort Myers by taking on the Tigers on Monday afternoon. Left-hander Chris Sale is slated to make his highly-anticipated spring debut for Boston while right-hander Matt Manning is scheduled to start for Detroit.

First pitch from JetBlue Park is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of David Hamilton: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)


Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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