Anthony Ranaudo struggled in his second spring outing. (AP)
In a game of slightly less consequence than the last time the Red Sox
faced the Cardinals, St. Louis beat the visiting Sox, 8-6, in a reacquainting of the two World Series
competitors. Daniel Nava
led off the game with a homer off St. Louis starter Shelby Miller
, but Miller then retired the next eight batters he faced. With Sox starter Chris Capuano
(two runs in two innings) and piggyback starter Anthony Ranaudo
(1 1/3 innings, five runs (three earned) on six hits) both getting hit hard, the Sox found themselves in a 7-1 hole by the time they showed renewed signs of offensive life starting in the sixth inning, when Xander Bogaerts
launched a two-run homer (his first of the spring) to left.
Between the performances of both Capuano and Ranaudo (who consistently pitched behind in the count), three errors committed by the Sox (one each by Will Middlebrooks, Heiker Meneses and Deven Marrero) along with a passed ball by catcher Christian Vazquez, it was a sloppy performance for the Sox. Manager John Farrell told reporters that his team needs to tighten up its play.
“Tough day. No doubt. Tough day defensively. We’ve got work to do, let’s face it,” Farrell told reporters in Jupiter, Fla. “We’re a week into the game schedule but we’ve got a lot of work to do as a team. It was a tough for Will to defensively but in addition to that it was compounded by pitching behind in the count. And I think overall we’ve got to do a much better job of commanding the strike zone, much better than we have so far. … I think in general, as a staff, what we’ve shown through the first six days of games, we’ve got to pitch better in terms of controlling the count.”
The game featured the Red Sox‘ first umpire replay of the spring, as Cardinals manager Mike Matheny challenged a ruling that the Red Sox had successfully turned an inning-ending double play to conclude the eight. The ruling on the field was upheld.