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Play Ball

Monday, February 29, 2016 – JetBlue Park, Ft. Myers

Game 1 – Red Sox 6, Boston College Eagles 0

On Monday the Red Sox started off the 2016 season with their first two officially unofficial games against Boston College and Northeastern University.  We went early and walked around to the practice fields out back.  Minor league camp has just started, so three of the fields had kids from the low minors taking batting practice.  At the other end of the complex, the major league pitchers were out running.  We spotted 21-year-old outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who was the Sox’ first round pick in last year’s draft, and the 7th pick overall.  He made it as high as Single A Greenville last year and is projected to move up to High A this year.  He was nice enough to sign autographs and pose for pictures after finishing up practice.

Outfield prospect Andrew Benintendi.

Hopefully I'll get to see Andrew Benintendi at Fenway in a couple of years.

Then it was time for some real live baseball, even if it was a pair of 7-inning contests against college teams.  The real starting position players were all in the lineup, and it was absolutely beautiful baseball weather.

You can tell the baseball season has officially started when Pedey gets his uniform dirty.

Two innings in and Dustin Pedroia's uniform was already filthy. That's how we knew the season was officially underway.

Play ball!

Play ball!

Knuckleballer Steven Wright started the game and threw 2 innings, with 2 hits and 4 strikeouts.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright started the game and threw 2 innings, giving up no runs on 2 hits and 4 strikeouts.

Hanley Ramirez started at first base and played three innings in the field. He didn't have too many chances, but he caught the final out of a 6-4-3 double play (pictured here) and retired one batter unassisted on a groundout.

Hanley Ramirez started at first base and played three innings in the field. He didn't have too many chances, but he caught the final out of a 6-4-3 double play (pictured here) and retired one batter unassisted on a groundout.

The big blow in the first game was Mookie Betts’s towering homer over the Green Monster in the fourth.  Hanley Ramirez had two hits, and Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, and Blake Swihart each had one.  Jackie Bradley Jr. walked twice.  The subs tacked on three more runs on two sac flies and a bases-loaded walk, and the Sox won the first game 6-0.

Game 2 – Red Sox 8, Northeastern Huskies 3

The second game started 40 minutes after the first game ended.  Brock Holt and Travis Shaw were the only two in the lineup who will open the season in the majors, and they figured into several of the early runs.  Brockstar walked and scored in the first and hit a sacrifice fly in the third.  Shaw had a single and a double, both of which drove in a run.

The second game featured a home run by Bryce Brentz and a triple by Brian LaMarre. Non-roster invitee Sean O'Sullivan made the start and had 2 hits and 4 strikeouts in his 2 shutout innings.

The second game featured a home run by Bryce Brentz and a triple by Brian LaMarre. Non-roster invitee Sean O'Sullivan made the start and had 2 hits and 4 strikeouts in his 2 shutout innings.

Ruben Amaro, former GM of the Phillies, is the new first base coach this year.

Ruben Amaro, former GM of the Phillies, is the new first base coach this year.

We got to see Cuban 20-year-old Yoan Moncada, currently the top-ranked prospect in the organization, when he came in as a sub in the second game. He had a single and a double, moved up on a wild picth, and scored a run.

We got to see 20-year-old second baseman Yoan Moncada, currently the top-ranked prospect in the organization, when he came in as a sub in the second game. He had a single and a double, moved up on a wild pitch, and scored a run.

The Red Sox survived a sixth-inning rally by Northeastern off Danny Rosenbaum and hung on to win 8-3.  Final tally for the day: I got to witness 12 pitchers, 30 position players, 2 wins, and the end of the long off-season.  Not bad for one day!

One Response to “Play Ball”

  1. Diary of a RedSoxDiehard » Seeing the Sea Dogs - July 4th, 2016

    [...] to playing in Double A just a year later, but because I got an autograph and a picture with him in Spring Training this year. Andrew Benintendi awaits his turn [...]

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