Red Sox

First Impressions: Wright thrives on the road


First Impressions: Wright thrives on the road

First Impressions from the Red Sox 8-1 win over the Twins:

* Steven Wright's road show continues.

Wright entered the game with a 1.79 ERA away from home, and after tossing 7.1 innings and allowing just one unearned run, that number dipped further.

It's not as if Wright's numbers at home (3.07 ERA) are bad; it's just that, for whatever reason, Wright has been even better on the road.

Another impressive number for Wright: he's allowed just three homers in 82 innings.

* The power is coming for Xander Bogaerts.

In the first two and a half months of the season, Bogaerts has already matched his home run total of last year after belting a three-run homer in the fifth inning.
Throughout the spring, hitting coach Chili Davis confidently predicted that the power numbers would come organically and the home run numbers would reflect that.

Indeed, Bogaerts is on pace to hit about 20 homers this season, or about three times his total of a season ago.

* Dustin Pedroia continues to wear out right field.

Pedroia has showed a willingness to go the other way this season and exploited that in a big way Friday, taking three balls to right field for two doubles and a single.
In recent seasons, Pedroia's hand-thumb-wrist issues made it difficult to do anything other than pull the ball. But healthy again, Pedroia has begun using the whole field again to good effect.

* For one night, the slump was over.

The Sox bashed out 16 hits and scored eight runs, quite a turnaround from the last few games when the Sox were slowed down by the Blue Jays and Giants.
Five different players had multi-hit games and even two players who had been scuffling -- Hanley Ramirez and Travis Shaw -- were able to bust out a bit, each collecting a hit.

* Christian Vazquez handled Wright's knuckleball well.
Ryan Hanigan had been Wright's personal catcher for much of the year, but with Hanigan on the DL, Vazquez got his chance behindthe plate.
Calling upon some experience from Triple A in 2014 and a handful of spring training games in which he caught Wright, Vazquez did a nice job. He was charged with one passed ball but otherwise handled the unpredictable pitch as well as anyone could have hoped.

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.