Red Sox’ Jordan DiValerio on pitching in relief of Chris Sale in Grapefruit League debut: ‘It’s definitely a big deal’

In the ninth inning of Sunday’s 7-2 loss to the Twins at JetBlue Park, Red Sox minor-league pitcher Jordan DiValerio appeared in a Grapefruit League game for the first time in his professional career.

DiValerio struck out the first batter he faced in Kala’i Rosario and then issued a walk to Dalton Kelly. But the right-hander escaped any further damage and held the Twins scoreless by getting Ernie Yake to ground into an inning-ending, 4-6-3 double play.

“I didn’t know I was going in until the phone rang and they said, ‘DiValerio, you got it.’ I was like, ‘Alright, here we go,'” DiValerio told’s Rob Bradford. “In the locker room, after, was when it hit me. It was a big moment, but you have to play it off as it is just another game.”

Beyond the fact that he got to pitch in a major-league spring training game for the first time, DiValerio also worked in relief of Red Sox starter Chris Sale, who helped recruit him to the organization a little less than three years ago.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the 2020 college baseball season to come to a screeching halt that March, DiValerio was in the midst of his senior season at St. Joseph’s University. The Philadelphia-area native had posted a 2.38 ERA in his first four starts (22 2/3 innings) for the Hawks that spring, but his chances of getting drafted became slim once the 2020 amateur draft was reduced to just five rounds.

As such, DiValerio became an undrafted free agent that June. Because the signing bonus for these players was capped at $20,000, there was not much teams could do to separate themselves in the recruiting process. DiValerio experienced that firsthand, but the Red Sox found a way to stand out by getting Sale involved.

“It was honestly incredible,” DiValerio said in regards to his over-the-phone conversation with Sale. “Just knowing they would have their ace, their No. 1 guy, give me a call, it just meant so much. It showed me they cared and wanted me here.

“I was in my apartment, got a call and they were like, ‘Hey, just letting you know, Chris Sale is going to call you soon,'” DiValerio recalled. “I was like, ‘OK, whatever.’ I thought they were joking around. Then I get this random phone call, pick up and he was like, ‘Hey, Jordan, it’s Chris.’ I was like, ‘Alright.’

“I just talked to him a little bit and he told me how much of a family the Red Sox were,” he continued. “Everybody fits in. It doesn’t matter if you’re a minor-leaguer or a big-leaguer. That’s exactly how I felt going into the dugout [on Sunday]. Everybody was saying, ‘Good job’ and giving me high-fives. Guys I have never talked to before said, ‘Good job!'”

By the time DiValerio got into Sunday’s game, Sale had already pitched five innings, fulfilled his media obligations, and headed home. Still, to share the same box score with Sale was “definitely a big deal” for DiValerio, who has yet to bring up the aforementioned phone call in the few instances he has bumped into the lefty at the Fenway South complex.

“We met a couple of times, but I haven’t brought up the phone call,” DiValerio said with a laugh. “I feel like it’s weird.”

DiValerio, 25, spent the majority of the 2022 season with High-A Greenville, posting a 5.32 ERA — but much more respectable 4.38 xFIP — with 67 strikeouts to 15 walks over 29 relief appearances (67 2/3 innings) for the Drive. Of the 74 pitchers in the South Atlantic League who accrued 60 or more innings last year, DiValerio ranked fifth in walks per nine innings (2.00), fifth in walk rate (5.0 percent), and 11th in swinging-strike rate (15.6 percent), per FanGraphs.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, DiValerio throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of an 89-91 mph that tops out at 94 mph, a 77-79 mph curveball, a 78-80 mph changeup/splitter, and an 82-84 mph slider, according to his scouting report.

DiValerio, who does not turn 26 until October, is projected by to return to Greenville for the start of the 2023 minor-league season. With that being said, it is certainly possible DiValerio earns a promotion to Double-A Portland at some point this year if he continues to make strides with the Drive.

(Picture of Jordan DiValerio: Kelly O’Connor/


Tanner Houck ends spring on sour note as Red Sox muster just 4 hits in 6-1 loss to Braves

The Red Sox were held to just four hits by the Braves in their penultimate game of the spring on Monday afternoon. Boston fell to Atlanta by a final score of 6-1 at CoolToday Park to drop to 14-13-4 in Grapefruit League play.

Tanner Houck once again struggled in his sixth and final start of the spring for the Sox. The right-hander surrendered six earned runs on five hits and two walks to go along with four strikeouts over just three innings of work.

The Braves first got to Houck in their half of the second. After Michael Harris reached base via a one-out triple, Ozzie Albies drew a walk and stole second. With runners at second and third now, Houck promptly served up a towering three-run blast to give Atlanta an early 3-0 lead.

Houck ran into more trouble in the third by walking leadoff man Ronald Acuna Jr. He then gave up a two-run home run to Matt Olson, who has now taken the righty deep three times this spring. After getting Austin Riley to ground out, Houck yielded a solo shot to another former Oakland Athletic in Sean Murphy.

Having already reached 60 pitches, Houck did not come back out for the fourth. Instead, the 26-year-old hurler finishes his spring with a 9.74 ERA, a 25:12 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and a .325 batting average against over 20 1/3 innings. Despite those struggles, Houck is still lined up to make his first start of the regular season against the Orioles at Fenway Park on Sunday.

In relief of Houck, Kenley Jansen received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Making his first appearance since leaving Friday’s game against Atlanta with lightheadedness, the veteran closer worked into and out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth by getting Olson to ground into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.

Chris Martin took over for Jansen in the fifth and retired three of the four batters he faced. The Red Sox then picked up their first hit of the day in the sixth inning when Yu Chang — who was making his Grapefruit League debut — ripped a two-out double off Braves reliever Joe Jimenez. But Chang was stranded at second as Alex Verdugo grounded out to end the inning.

After Josh Winckowski tossed two more scoreless frames of relief, the Sox finally got on the board in their half of the eighth. There, Niko Goodrum led off with a double, Chang reached on a fielding error, and Rob Refsnyder reached on a two-out infield single. With the bases loaded, Niko Kavadas was hit by a Luis De Avila pitch, which allowed Goodrum to score from third and make it a 6-1 game.

That is where the score would remain, though, as Oddanier Mosqueda struck out two in a 1-2-3 eighth inning and the Red Sox went down quietly in the ninth. All told, Monday’s contest took two hours and 25 minutes to complete.

Verdugo’s assist

After getting taken deep by Eddie Rosario in the second inning, Tanner Houck gave up a line-drive hit to Sam Hilliard. Right fielder Alex Verdugo fielded the ball cleanly and made an accurate throw back to the infield in time to get Hilliard — who tried to extend his single into a double — out at second.

Next up: Crawford gets the ball in Grapefruit League finale

The Red Sox will return to Fort Myers to host the Braves in their final game of the spring on Tuesday afternoon. Kutter Crawford will take the mound for Boston while fellow righty Charlie Morton is slated to do the same for Atlanta.

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

(Picture of Tanner Houck: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Garrett Whitlock named Red Sox’ Jimmy Fund captain for 2023 season

Red Sox right-hander Garrett Whitlock has been named the team’s Jimmy Fund captain for the 2023 season, the organization announced on Monday.

Whitlock will be taking over for Nathan Eovaldi, who held the post in each of the last two seasons before signing a two-year, $34 million contract with the Rangers in December.

“Like all players in MLB, I am aware of the strong partnership and rich history between the Red Sox organization, the players, and the Jimmy Fund,” Whitlock said in a statement. “I am honored to be asked to serve as this year’s Jimmy Fund Captain. I look forward to meeting patients and their families and helping to raise awareness and funds for all the amazing work that is being done at Dana-Farber.”

As Jimmy Fund captain, Whitlock will “attend fundraising events, visit patients, build support and raise funds for cancer care and research at Dana-Farber.” The 26-year-old hurler will also be responsible for acting as an ambassador towards “Dana-Farber’s research and care mission.”

The Jimmy Fund, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, was first established in Boston in 1948. The Red Sox have been partners with the organization since 1953, making it the longest and most charitable partnership in professional sports.

With the exception of 2020 (COVID-19 pandemic), the Red Sox have hosted an annual radio-telethon at Fenway Park each summer since 2002 to raise awareness and funds for pediatric and adult cancer care/research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Last year, more than $3.5 million was raised at the 20th WEEI/Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon, bringing the cumulative total since 2002 up to approximately $65 million. The 21st installment will likely take place at some point in August.

For more information about the Jimmy Fund, click here. For more information about the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon, click here.

(Picture of Garrett Whitlock: Elsa/Getty Images)

Orioles designate Andrew Politi, who Red Sox lost in Rule 5 Draft, for assignment

The Orioles have designated right-hander Andrew Politi for assignment, according to The Boston Globe’s Speier.

Politi, 26, was selected by Baltimore in last December’s Rule 5 Draft after spending the first five seasons of his professional career in the Red Sox organization.

In nine appearances for the Orioles this spring, Politi posted a 6.23 ERA and 1.38 WHIP with eight strikeouts to three walks over 8 2/3 innings of relief. Opposing hitters batted .265/.342/.588 off of him as well.

Because he did not make their Opening Day roster, the Orioles had no choice but to designate Politi for assignment given his status as a Rule 5 pick. If he clears waivers in the coming days, Politi will be offered back to the Red Sox for $50,000. Baltimore already gave Boston $100,000 in order to draft him.

Another team, in theory, could claim Politi off waivers. But that club would then be required to carry the righty on their active roster or major-league injured list for the entirety of the 2023 season. They would not have the ability to option him to the minor-leagues, either.

Given those somewhat challenging prerequisites, Politi could be returned to the Red Sox by the end of the week. If that does happen, Boston would be able to retain Politi’s services without needing to commit a 40-man roster spot to him.

Originally selected by the Red Sox in the 15th round of the 2018 amateur draft out of Seton Hall, Politi spent most of the 2022 minor-league season with Triple-A Worcester after earning a promotion from Double-A Portland in late May. In 38 outings (two starts) for the WooSox, the New Jersey native pitched to a 2.57 ERA with 63 strikeouts to 19 walks over 56 innings of work.

Despite those strong numbers, the Red Sox elected not to add Politi to their 40-man roster in November, leaving him unprotected and eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft. At the time he was scooped up by the Orioles, Politi was ranked by as the No. 42 prospect in Boston’s farm system.

Politi, who turns 27 in June, operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a mid-90s four-seam fastball, a high-80s cutter, a mid-80s slider, and a low-80s curveball, per Baseball Savant. The 6-foot, 195-pound hurler would presumably re-join the Worcester bullpen if he does clear waivers and returns to the Red Sox.

In addition to Politi, the Red Sox also lost fellow righties Thad Ward (Nationals) and Noah Song (Phillies) in the Rule 5 Draft over the winter. Ward has had a solid spring and looks like a lock to make Washington’s Opening Day roster as a bullpen option. Song, on the other hand, has been sidelined by lower back tightness and is expected to begin the season on Philadelphia’s injured list.

(Picture of Andrew Politi: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Red Sox reassign Jorge Alfaro to minor-leagues, clearing way for Connor Wong to make team

In addition to optioning infielder Bobby Dalbec to Triple-A Worcester on Monday, the Red Sox also reassigned catcher Jorge Alfaro to minor-league camp. Put another way, Dalbec and Alfaro will start the season with the WooSox.

Alfaro signed a minor-league contract with the Red Sox in January. The deal came with an invite to major-league spring training as well as an upward mobility clause that granted the 29-year-old backstop the ability to seek a big-league opportunity elsewhere if Boston did not give him one.

According to’s Christopher Smith, though, the window for Alfaro to exercise his opt-out has now passed, meaning he will remain in the organization without occupying a spot on the 40-man roster.

In nine games with the Red Sox this spring, the right-handed hitting Alfaro went 11-for-23 (.478) at the plate with three doubles, two home runs, six RBIs, three runs scored, one walk, and six strikeouts. He also allowed one passed ball and threw out one of seven possible base stealers in the process of logging 43 innings behind the plate.

Alfaro came into camp looking to compete with Connor Wong for a spot on Boston’s Opening Day roster as the No. 2 catcher behind Reese McGuire. Though Wong missed a significant amount of time this spring with a Grade 1 left hamstring strain, Alfaro was also away from the team for about two weeks earlier this month while playing for his native Colombia in the World Baseball Classic.

Wong made his return to Boston’s lineup for the first time since March 2 in Monday’s Grapefruit League game against the Braves in Northport. He went 0-for-3 and caught seven innings. When speaking with reporters (including Smith) beforehand, Red Sox manager Alex Cora indicated that he was confident the 26-year-old would be ready for Opening Day despite the lack of at-bats he has gotten and the lack of innings caught this spring.

“If everything goes well, we’re very comfortable with him at-bats-wise,” Cora said of Wong. “He got plenty [of] behind-the-plate repetitions. If we make the decision, it’s because we’re comfortable with it.”

Wong, who turns 27 in May, is now slated to make his first Opening Day roster as a big-leaguer. The right-handed hitter is well-regarded for his defense and figures to form a tandem of sorts with the left-handed hitting McGuire to begin the season.

Alfaro, meanwhile, will report to Worcester. He has the right to opt out of his contract with the Red Sox if he is not added to the 26-man roster by June 1 or July 1 at the latest. If Alfaro does make it to Boston this season, he will receive a base salary of $2 million.

In the meantime, Alfaro will provide the Red Sox with some valuable catching depth in Worcester alongside the likes of Caleb Hamilton and Ronaldo Hernandez. Cora noted on Monday that it was important to keep Alfaro in the organization so that he could continue to work on his receiving skills.

“It’s important in a selfish way,” Cora explained. “You want all these guys to be big leaguers but I think to have him here, he made some strides defensively. We’re very comfortable with it compared to last year. I think [catching instructor Jason Varitek] feels like there’s a lot of improvement, especially with the one-knee down position.

“This guy, he communicates well,” added Cora. “He has a good feel with the pitching staff. It’s just a numbers game at some point. And where we’re at right now, we feel comfortable with the guys that we have and obviously comfortable with him staying in the organization.”

By optioning Dalbec and reassigning Alfaro to minor-league camp, the Red Sox have 36 players remaining on their major-league spring training roster. Three of those players (Raimel Tapia, Greg Allen, and Niko Goodrum) are in camp as non-roster invitees. Seven others (Brayan Bello, Wyatt Mills, James Paxton, Joely Rodriguez, Garrett Whitlock, Adalberto Mondesi, and Trevor Story) are expected to start the season on the injured list. Story is already on the 60-day injured list, so he does not count against the 40-man roster.

(Picture of Jorge Alfaro: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox option Bobby Dalbec to Triple-A Worcester, clearing way for Yu Chang to make team

The Red Sox have optioned infielder Bobby Dalbec to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced earlier Monday morning.

Dalbec, 27, appeared in 18 Grapefruit League games for Boston this spring, batting .235/.304/.510 with four doubles, two triples, two home runs, six RBIs, 11 runs scored, five walks, and 21 strikeouts over 56 plate appearances.

After breaking camp the last two years as the Sox’ primary first baseman, Dalbec found himself in a much different spot this spring. With Triston Casas taking over those responsibilities moving forward, Dalbec’s path to making Boston’s Opening Day roster came in the form of undertaking a utility role.

While he has mainly played first and third base throughout his big-league career, Dalbec logged 33 innings at shortstop in Grapefruit League play. Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters (including’s Chris Cotillo) on Monday that Dalbec will play a lot of third base and continue to move around the infield in Worcester.

“It’s not easy, but one thing for sure, he’s not gonna stop working,” Cora said of Dalbec. “And that’s something we told him. From the get-go, he knew the situation.

“He’s going to be part of it at one point,” added Cora. “For us to accomplish the things that we are set to do, it’s more than 26 guys. Bobby’s still a good player. I think the at-bats are gonna help him. He’s just got to be ready, and whenever we call his name, if we need it, just be ready to come here and contribute.”

This marks the second time in the last seven months that Dalbec has been sent down to the minors. He was also optioned in early September, when Casas was called up, and slashed .250/.302/.563 with five home runs and eight RBIs in 13 games (53 plate appearances) with the WooSox.

By optioning Dalbec, the Red Sox have ensured fellow infielder Yu Chang that he will be making the team. The two were essentially competing for the same roster spot off the bench this spring and, unlike Dalbec, Chang is out of minor-league options, meaning Boston could not send him down to the minors without first exposing him to waivers.

Chang appeared in 11 games for the Red Sox in September and re-signed with the club on a one-year, $850,000 contract last month. The 27-year-old did not report to camp in Fort Myers until last Thursday after playing for Chinese Taipei in the World Baseball Classic and being delayed by visa issues. He was named MVP of Pool A after going 7-for-16 (.438) at the plate with two doubles, two home runs, eight RBIs, five runs scored, two walks, and two strikeouts in four games.

A native of Taiwan, Chang made his Grapefruit League debut for Boston on Monday, going 1-for-3 with a sixth-inning double off Braves reliever Joe Jimenez. Despite the lack of time he has been in camp, the Red Sox have full confidence in Chang.

“Physically, he’s in a good spot,” Cora said. “Obviously, at-bats have been limited, but he did enough in between the the tournament and camp to stay in shape. It’s hard because of the optics of, ‘Man, Bobby was here the whole time,’ but we knew that this was a possibility. The fact that [Chang] has experience at shortstop helps. We just have to make sure he goes through the whole process and he stays healthy.”

Chang, who turns 28 in August, has prior big-league experience at all four infield positions and is considered to be a plus defender. The versatile 6-foot-1, 187-pounder will round out a Red Sox infield mix to begin the year that includes Casas, Justin Turner, Christian Arroyo, Enrique Hernandez, and Rafael Devers.

(Picture of Bobby Dalbec: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Zack Kelly makes Red Sox’ Opening Day roster

The Red Sox have informed reliever Zack Kelly that he has made the club’s Opening Day roster, manager Alex Cora announced earlier Sunday morning.

Kelly, 28, made his major-league debut for Boston last August after posting a 2.72 ERA in 44 appearances (49 2/3 innings) for Triple-A Worcester to begin the 2022 season. With the Red Sox, the right-hander pitched to a 3.95 ERA and 4.28 FIP with 11 strikeouts to four walks over 13 outings spanning 13 2/3 innings of relief.

So far this spring, Kelly has allowed three earned runs on 10 hits, four walks, and seven strikeouts across eight appearances (10 innings). He struck out a pair over two scoreless frames in Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field.

“You saw yesterday, [he] throws strikes on three different pitches,” Cora told reporters (including’s Christopher Smith). “And we feel very confident with that.”

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, Kelly’s three-pitch arsenal consists of a mid-80s slider, a mid-90s four-seam fastball, and a low-80s changeup, per Baseball Savant. He held opponents to a .174 batting average against with his four-seamer last year.

As for how the Red Sox plan on using him this coming season, Cora indicated that Kelly will be paired with fellow righty Josh Winckowski in a multi-inning role out of the bullpen.

“We’ll use him probably [for] multiple innings,” said Cora. “He’ll be kind of one of those guys with Wink that can go two innings. We feel very confident with him.”

This marks the first time in which Kelly has made an Opening Day roster as a big-leaguer. The Virginia native has come a long way since going undrafted out of Division II Newberry College (Newberry, S.C.) and signing with the Athletics for a mere $500 in January 2017.

With Kelly now in the fold, the Red Sox have just one more vacancy in their bullpen to fill before Opening Day against the Orioles on Thursday. It will likely either go to Kaleb Ort, who is already on the 40-man roster but has struggled this spring, Oddanier Mosqueda, or Ryan Sherriff.

(Picture of Zack Kelly: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Kiké Hernández leaves game with right wrist contusion but is not expected to miss any time

Red Sox shortstop Enrique Hernandez was removed from Sunday’s Grapefruit League game against the Twins after getting hit in the wrist by a pitch.

In the bottom of the third inning, Hernandez began to swing his bat and was hit on the right wrist by a pitch from Twins starter Sonny Gray. The 31-year-old took his base after being checked out by Red Sox manager Alex Cora and a member of the team’s training staff. He then played the field for one more inning before being replaced by Bobby Dalbec in the top of the fifth.

Shortly thereafter, Hernandez was officially diagnosed with a “right wrist contusion.” When speaking with reporters (including’s Chris Cotillo) following Boston’s 7-2 loss to Minnesota at JetBlue Park, Cora indicated that Hernandez was taken out for precautionary reasons and is likely to be back in the starting lineup on Monday.

“He’s OK,” Cora said. “Got hit, got a little ding there but he should be OK.”

Hernandez is expected to play a key role for the Red Sox this season after Trevor Story underwent right elbow surgery in January. They will also be without offseason acquisition Adalberto Mondesi (ACL recovery) to begin the year, so outside of Bobby Dalbec and Yu Chang, Boston is particularly thin when it comes to middle infield depth.

With Sunday’s contest in the books, the Red Sox have just two exhibition games remaining (both against the Braves). They will then fly to Boston ahead of their Opening Day matchup against the Orioles at Fenway Park this coming Thursday.

(Picture of Enrique Hernandez: Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Red Sox spring training: Chris Sale goes 5 innings, Rafael Devers homers in 7-2 loss to Twins

The Red Sox will not be taking home the Chairman’s Cup after being bested by the Twins in Sunday’s series finale. Boston fell to Minnesota by a final score of 7-2 at JetBlue Park to drop to 14-12-4 in Grapefruit League play.

Chris Sale, making his fourth and final start of the spring for the Red Sox, allowed two earned runs on five hits, two walks, and one hit batsman to go along with five strikeouts over five solid innings of work.

Both of the runs Sale gave up came on one swing of the bat. After taking a shutout bid into the fourth inning, the veteran left-hander yielded a leadoff single to Kyle Farmer. Two batters later, he served up a two-run home run to Ryan Jeffers that barely cleared the fence in right-center field.

Sale evaded any further damage in the top of the fourth. In the bottom half, Cole Sands took over for Twins starter Sonny Gray, who struck out four over three scoreless, no-hit innings. Rafael Devers promptly greeted the new reliever by crushing a leadoff home run to right field. Devers’ first homer of the spring cut Boston’s deficit in half at 2-1.

Justin Turner followed by drawing a walk and moving up to third base on a one-out double from Adam Duvall. Triston Casas then took ball four himself to load the bases, but Christian Arroyo extinguished the threat by grounding into an inning-ending, 4-6-3 double play.

Still trailing by one going into the fifth, Sale put runners on the corners with only one out. But he got out of the jam thanks to Reese McGuire gunning down the pinch-running Ernie Yake at second base and Farmer lining out to Bobby Dalbec to end the inning. The 33-year-old southpaw finished with 79 pitches. He will make his next start against the Orioles at Fenway Park on April 1.

Shortly after Sale’s day had come to an end, the Red Sox got the lefty off the hook. With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Bobby Dalbec scored the then-tying-run on back-to-back singles from Devers and Turner. A two-out walk drawn by Masataka Yoshida then loaded the bases, but Duvall ended the rally by going down swinging against new Twins reliever Jose Bravo.

Though Boston had fought back to pull even with Minnesota at two runs apiece, that stalemate did not last too long. Kaleb Ort took over for Sale out of the Red Sox bullpen in the sixth and recorded two quick outs before running into some trouble. Ort issued a two-out walk to Michael A. Taylor and followed that up by surrendering a go-ahead, two-run home run to Willi Castro to give the Twins a 4-2 lead.

Richard Bleier had difficulty with the long ball himself as he served up a two-run shot to Hernan Perez with two outs in the seventh. In the eighth, John Schreiber gave up a one-out double to Mark Contreras, who scored from second on an RBI single off the bat of Andrew Betchold. Jordan DiValerio faced the minimum in the ninth by recording one strikeout, issuing one walk, and inducing another 4-6-3 twin killing.

Down to their final three outs, the Red Sox went down quietly in their half of the ninth. Jorge Alfaro popped out while Dalbec and Raimel Tapia both lined out against Connor Sadzeck to put the finishing touches on a 7-2 loss.

By defeating the Red Sox on Sunday, the Twins won the five-game series, 3-2. As such, they will be taking the 2023 Chairman’s Cup trophy back with them to their own complex in Fort Myers.

Other worthwhile observations:

After allowing two runs in the sixth inning of Sunday’s loss, Kaleb Ort now owns a 9.64 ERA (10 earned runs in 9 1/3 innings of relief) through eight appearances this spring. The hard-throwing righty is currently competing for the final spot in Boston’s Opening Day bullpen.

In his four starts this spring, Chris Sale pitched to a 4.80 ERA with 12 strikeouts to just three walks over 15 innings. Opponents hit .288 off him.

Enrique Hernandez was struck in the right wrist by a Sonny Gray pitch in the bottom of the third inning. He remained in the game for two more innings before being replaced at shortstop by Bobby Dalbec. According to the Red Sox, the decision to take Hernandez (who was later diagnosed with a right wrist contusion) out was purely precautionary, meaning he is not expected to miss any time.

Next up: Houck starts

The Red Sox will travel to North Port to take on the Braves in their penultimate game of the spring on Monday afternoon. Tanner Houck will be getting the start for Boston opposite fellow right-hander Jesse Chavez for Atlanta.

First pitch from CoolToday Park is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time. The game will be televised, but only on Bally Sports Southeast.

(Picture of Chris Sale: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox closer Kenley Jansen on the mend after leaving Friday’s game with dizziness

After leaving Friday’s Grapefruit League game against the Braves with lightheadedness, Red Sox closer Kenley Jansen appears to be doing better.

Jansen left in the ninth inning of Friday night’s 9-8 win over Atlanta at JetBlue Park after feeling dizzy on the mound. The right-hander told reporters (including’s Chris Cotillo) that the feeling was unlike anything he had ever experienced while pitching before.

“I’m a little bit better,” Jansen said Saturday. “I still, a little bit, feel something. I was just out of it. It’s not smart to keep pitching in spring training games when you’re kind of blacking out, out there, a little bit.”

Jansen was back at the Fenway South complex in Fort Myers on Saturday morning, but the Red Sox sent him back home to rest shortly thereafter. According to Cotillo, the 35-year-old “complained of dizziness and nausea and wondered aloud if he had contracted a virus.”

In a separate conversation, Red Sox manager Alex Cora was optimistic that Jansen would be able to return to camp later Saturday afternoon and make his scheduled appearance in Sunday’s home game against the Twins.

“He doesn’t feel great today so we sent him home,” said Cora. “Hopefully, he can come back around 1:30 (p.m.) and do his workouts. We still have him for tomorrow. Let’s see how he feels.”

When asked about the possible cause of Jansen’s ailment, Cora said: “Maybe something he ate. I gave him some rice and beans after the game last night, some pork chops. He probably didn’t feel good about that.”

Before departing on Friday, Jansen had already given up a then-game-tying, two-run home run to minor-league catcher to Adam Zebrowski. He surrendered three runs altogether and now owns a 7.71 ERA in five appearances (4 2/3 innings pitched) this spring.

The Red Sox signed Jansen to a two-year, $32 million contract in December. The three-time All-Star was brought in to anchor a bullpen that was among the worst in the American League last season.

Over the course of establishing himself as one of the top closers in baseball, though, Jansen has dealt with heart issues throughout his career. In 2011, he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, which has caused him to miss time in the past. He has also undergone two cardiac ablation procedures (in 2012 and 2018) to combat the issue.

Despite Friday’s scare, the Red Sox and Jansen are both confident that this latest incident was not related to the righty’s heart. As such, Jansen — as of now — is expected to be ready for Opening Day on March 30.

“There’s no concerns about the other stuff that happened in the past,” Cora said.

(Picture of Kenley Jansen: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)