Red Sox

First impressions from Red Sox' 13-5 win over Oakland

First impressions from Red Sox' 13-5 win over Oakland

First impressions from the Boston Red Sox' 13-5 win over the Oakland Athletics:

* The pitching line might not seem impressive, but Sean O'Sullivan gave the Red Sox exactly what they needed.

As a spot starter taking the spot forfeited by Henry Owens, O'Sullivan threw strikes, worked quickly and kept the ball out of the middle of the plate -- for the first five innings at least, when he blanked the A's while his teammates piled up runs for him.

The fourth time through the order in the sixth, it got a little messy as O'Sullivan gave up four runs in five innings, but by then, it was largely academic.

* Travis Shaw solved lefties for a night.

Coming into the game, Shaw was just 2-for-25 against lefthanders, but he broke out against Oakland starter Sean Manaea, doubling home two runs in the five-run third inning.

Two innings later, facing lefty reliever Daniel Coulombe, Shaw struck again, homering to left for a three-run blast.

Two at-bats, six total bases and five RBI. What problem was that again?

* Who's the impostor playing center field?

For the second straight night, Jackie Bradley misplayed a ball in the outfield.

On Monday night, he had a routine fly ball clang off the heel of his glove for his first error of the season.

On Tuesday, he misjudged a line drive hit directly at him, allowing the ball to skip past him to the warning track. The play was ruled a double for Billy Butler, though Bradley should have been charged with another error.

* You get the sense that Hanley Ramirez is just starting to warm up offensively.

In the first 24 games, Ramirez had just one homer; in the last 11, he's hit three.

The one he hit last night was absolutely smoked. STATCAST has its exit velocity at 114 mph and measured the distance at 468 feet, making it the second-longest homer in baseball this season.

Moreover, Ramirez has knocked in 11 runs in his last 14 games.

* The long ball is back in vogue.

Tuesday marked the third straight game that the Sox hit multiple homers. They had four Sunday night in the Bronx, two more Monday night and three Tuesday, giving them nine over the last three games.

They also have homered in 11 straight games, their longest such streak since 2011 when they homered in 12 games in a row from July 26-Aug. 6.

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

David Price's Grapefruit League debut was nearly perfect.

The Red Sox left-hander pitched four scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk and striking out five in a 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in Fort Myers, Fla.

Price threw 55 pitches, 34 for strikes. He cruised through the first on nine pitches. He allowed the single and walk in the second.  

"It feels good. This is March 15 and I've never been able to have a four-pitch mix on March 15," Price told reporters after his start. "I've never been this far along in spring training even though I've only thrown in one game. I'm excited about that."

The Red Sox open March 29 at Tampa Bay, with Chris Sale likely to start. Price will likely pitch the second game of the season, March 30 at Tropicana Field.