Well, that’s it from Washington and spring training. Cheers, here’s to the beginning of the regular season.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 8-7: Jason Repko won’t go away quietly. He hit a double to right field to give the Sox a lead.
Despite that, it’s probably not going to be enough to win him the final roster spot for the Sox. Before the game, Valentine said the final roster spot would likely go to a pitcher, considering the recent injuries to Josh Beckett and Andrew Bailey.
Bottom 8th, 7-7: Alfredo Aceves has entered the game in the eighth inning, which could be a sign of things to come with Bailey on the mend.
Aceves came and handled business, striking out Jesus Flores and Xavier Nady while getting Brett Carroll to ground out.
Mid 8th, 7-7: Daniel Nava with the home run. Where have you read that before?
It was a solo shot to tie up the game, but considering Nava has dwelled in anonymity since his breakout moment in 2010, you got to give him credit when its due.
He’s still trying to continue to claw his way back to the bigs. It’s a tough road for him, but he’s trying.
Bottom 7th, Nationals 7-6: Wilson Ramos has continued his hot hitting, belting an RBI single.
When the Sox yanked Justin Thomas from relief, Michael Bowden went on to struggle in that role, walking the first two batters he faced — including walking a run home.
Bowden will have an answer to his future very soon, considering he is out of options.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 6-4: Nick Punto still has some wheels. After hitting a single, the 34-year-old sped over and swiped second base.
Craig Stammen came in to pitch for the Nats and threw some pitches to Jason Repko that were close to grazing him. With the count full, he then tosseed a two-seamer that Repko thought was a walk.
As Repko trotted to first, the umpire called it for strike three.
Bottom 6th, Red Sox 6-4: Ian Desmond jacked a leadoff home run off of Buchholz. The pitcher got Espinosa to line out and struck Zimmerman out swinging.
But then, he walked Adam LaRoche. At that point, pitching coach Bob McClure had seen enough and had Justin Thomas replace Buchholz.
Thomas got the final out of the inning without any issue.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 6-3: Ross Detwiler came in to take the hill against the Nationals.
He struck out Darnell McDonald and got Cody Ross and Kevin Youkilis to fly out. By the way, McDonald is currently batting .459 average for the entirety of spring training. It’ll be interesting to see if he maintains that momentum.
Bottom 5th, Red Sox 6-3: Wilson Ramos unloaded on Buchholz, driving his pitch over center field for a three-run jack.
Buchholz ended the inning by getting Roger Bernadina to ground out. That could be it for Clay.
Judging by Valentine’s pre-game comments, the pitcher should be done with his tune ups.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 6-0: Jacoby Ellsbury tallies his second hit of the afternoon. This one goes for an RBI single that drives in Cody Ross.
You can tell Pedroia is ready for the season, too. He just doubled off the right field wall to bring in two more runs. He’s 2-for-3 with three RBIs today, easily one of his better games in the spring.
Adrian Gonzalez followed it up by immediately driving in Pedroia. It’s sequences like these that remind you how potent the top of the order is for Boston.
Bottom 4th, Red Sox 2-0: Buchholz relied on his four-seamer and cutter and they lifted him to two strikeouts in this inning.
He’s got a spring training no-hitter going on right now. Is it a real no-hitter if it doesn’t count? Probably not. But it’s worth noting since it’s against a strong Nationals lineup.
4 p.m.: For all of you that know about Nationals Park, you know they have the infamous President’s Race here.
Well, George Washington won this opener. Now, I just need to see the Sausage Race where the Brewers play and life is complete.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 2-0: Somebody had to get on the board, right? After Jacoby Ellsbury hit a single, Dustin Pedroia belted a double that brought Ellsbury home.
Those were both Boston’s first two hits of the game. When Pedroia moved to third, David Ortiz wound up grounding out to drive him in.
Bottom 3rd, 0-0: Buchholz just got Wilson Ramos to fly out. Now, Ramos isn’t a star or anything, but you may remember him as the player who was kidnapped over the offseason in Venezuela.
It’s nice to see him doing well and it really makes you appreciate life and the little things.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: Popup outs hurt the Red Sox in this one. Jarrod Saltalamacchia just got under one right now.
He said he’s been working with hitting coach Dave Magadan to limit the amount of popups. For the most part, he’s been succesful.
Bottom 2nd, 0-0: Clay Buchholz induced two quick ground ball outs and got Jayson Werth to fly out to center field.
This game is flying by so far. Maybe the teams are trying to get the formalities over and get ready for Opening Day?
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Edwin Jackson has stayed steady, forcing David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis and Ryan Sweeney into fly outs.
Jackson’s mixing it up pretty nicely with a dose of offspeed pitches when attacking Boston’s hitters.
Bottom 1st, 0-0: Clay Buchholz retired Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa and Ryan Zimmerman in order.
Don’t plan to see Buchholz in this one for too long. Bobby Valentine said he’s going to keep him in for either five innings or 75 pitches, whichever comes first.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Edwin Jackson retired the Red Sox lineup without issue. Remember, the Sox were interested in the pitcher for his durability and familiarity with the AL East.
Earlier in the day, Dustin Pedroia was talking about how bad he wanted to start the regular season and finish up these exhibition matchups.
3 p.m.: Here are the lineups.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Ryan Sweeney, RF
Cody Ross, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Mike Aviles, SS
Clay Buchholz, P
Ian Desmond, SS
Danny Espinosa, 2B
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
Adam LaRoche, 1B
Jayson Werth, RF
Mark DeRosa, LF
Xavier Nady, DH
Wilson Ramos, C
Roger Bernadina, CF
Edwin Jackson, P
8 a.m ET: The Red Sox have left Florida and are in Washington, D.C. to take on the Nationals for an exhibition game before heading off to Detroit.
On Monday, the Red Sox toppled the Nationals 4-2 after pitchers Aaron Cook and Jordan Zimmerman dueled. This time around, Boston will have Clay Buchholz on the hill while Washington throws Edwin Jackson on the mound. Jackson, as you may remember, was on the Red Sox’ radar this offseason.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine is expected to make a final decision on the 25-man roster following the game. With Josh Beckett and Andrew Bailey’s status uncertain, the skipper could opt to bring an extra pitcher with the final roster spot. If not, he’ll have this choice of utility men between Jason Repko, Pedro Ciriaco and Nate Spears. The first pitch of the game is scheduled for 3:05 p.m.
For roster updates and game day analysis from Washington follow NESN.com.