Martinez collects three hits, Red Sox tie the Rays 6-6.
Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com: (June 13, 2017 – Source: Hunter Martin/Getty Images North America)
The Boston Red Sox tied the Tampa Bay Rays 6-6 on Thursday afternoon. Brian Johnson took the mound for Boston, while Chris Archer did so for Tampa Bay. With the loss, the Red Sox move to 8-6-1 in Grapefruit play and the Rays to 6-7-1. It was Boston’s first tie of the spring. The game was played at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla.
Johnson had a lot of eyes on him this start, as he continues to fight for the last spot in the Sox’ rotation. He got off to a rough start, surrendering three earned runs before recording an out in the game. Breaking balls were missing high and outside and he was leaving flat fastballs over the middle of the plate.
It was a tale of two halves, though, for the left-hander. He ended the outing strong, striking out four over three innings while only offering one free pass.
The Red Sox’ offense picked him up in the early going, scoring two runs off Johnson’s counterpart, Chris Archer. One of those runs came courtesy of J.D. Martinez‘s first spring training hit of the year. He drove a pitch the other way for an RBI double in the first inning.
Tampa Bay held the lead over Boston for 6 and 1/2 innings, until the bottom 7th came along. Jeremy Barfield, the next J.D. Martinez, collected a clutch RBI single up the middle to start the scoring run. A passed ball in the same inning by Rays’ catcher Brandon Snyder allowed Dan Butler to reach home plate to tie the game 6-6.
Neither team managed to score a run in the last two innings, so the game ended in a 9-inning tie.
Notes & Opinions
- Martinez collected three hits in three opportunities, all of which were taken the other way. Tampa Bay shifted him to the pull side, but he intelligently shot line drives the other way instead. He can do that because he is J.D. Martinez.
- Eduardo Nunez made his spring training debut. He went 0-2.
- Xander Bogaerts also had a nice day at the plate, going 2-3 with an RBI double and a single.
The Boston Red Sox will take on the Miami Marlins at 1:05 p.m. eastern time tomorrow at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. Chris Sale will make his spring training debut, starting the game for Boston. The Marlins have not yet announced who will be starting for them.