Final, Red Sox 4-1: The Red Sox break a tough losing streak on Sunday as they defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates for the first time in 2014 spring training.
Right-hander Francisco Cordero picked up the save for the Red Sox with a clean ninth inning that included a strikeout and a double play.
Clay Buchholz pitched three scoreless innings for the Sox, outperforming Pittsburgh’s Charlie Morton, who surrendered three runs in the first three innings. Buchholz demonstrated great improvement from his one-inning performance in a 8-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday.
The game was almost a no-hitter for the Red Sox, until Rubby De La Rosa allowed the Pirates to put together three hits and a run in the bottom of the seventh.
The Sox hit consistently throughout the game, with Mike Carp and Bryce Brentz continuing to highlight the lineup. Also making some noise for the Sox were Brock Holt, Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Derrik Gibson.
Boston will face the Tampa Bay Rays for the second time at JetBlue Park on Monday.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 4-1: The Red Sox widen their lead thanks to an RBI single by Derrik Gibson.
Pitcher Yao-Hsun Yang issues a leadoff walk to Aneury Tavarez.
Carlos Rivero pops out to right field for the first out of the ninth.
Yang throws a wild pitch behind Peter Hissey, which pushes Tavarez to second base.
Derrik Gibson pops up what looks like a foul down the right field line, but the ball falls fair and sends Tavarez home.
Yang wraps up the inning with a strikeout, but the Red Sox have extended their lead to three runs.
End 8th, Red Sox 3-1: Rubby De La Rosa gives up another hit but prevents any more runs by Pittsburgh in the eighth.
The Pirates drove a two-out double to right-center field, but the Sox hauled out three ground balls to head into the ninth unscathed.
Yao-Hsun Yang will take over the mound for Pittsburgh
Mid 8th, Red Sox 3-1: Zack Thornton continues to deliver strikes for Pittsburgh.
Thornton strikes out two swinging and fires a ball to first to complete another 1-2-3 inning.
End 7th, Red Sox 3-1: It was a rough inning for Rubby De La Rosa, who gave up the Pirates’ first three hits and first run of the game.
Gregory Polanco led off with a line drive single that made its way through the gap between shortstop and second base.
Chris McGuiness drilled a bullet to right-center field that brought in the Pirates’ first run.
McGuiness advanced to third on Alen Hanson’s hard liner to right-center field, but he could not run home as the Sox retired Travis Ishikawa to prevent further damage in the seventh.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 3-0: Pitcher Zack Thornton ensures a short and painless inning for the Pirates.
The Pirates retire Deven Marrero. Jackie Bradley, Jr. pops out to new center fielder Gregory Polanco for the second out, and Thornton handles Alex Hassan’s grounder to the mound to conclude the top half.
RHP Rubby De La Rosa will pitch for the Sox in the bottom half.
End 6th, Red Sox 3-0: Dalier Hinojosa continues to pitch strongly in his second 1-2-3 inning.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 3-0: The Sox make a little noise in the sixth, but not enough to bring any runners home.
Brock Holt gets a base hit with a line shot right up the middle that narrowly misses Tony Watson’s face.
Bryce Brentz skis a high fly ball to left-center field that appears to be an easy out, but Chris Dickerson misses the catch, giving the Sox their second consecutive base hit with no outs.
Garin Cecchini slams a ground ball to second. Shortstop Jordy Mercer manages a fast reaction double play, but Holt advances to third.
Travis Shaw sends the ball directly to Andrew Lambo for the final out of the sixth. The Sox are left with one man on and no runs scored.
End 5th, Red Sox 3-0: The Red Sox retire three in a row with excellent pitching by right-handed pitcher Dalier Hinojosa.
Tony Watson will step in to pitch for the Pirates in the sixth.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 3-0: The Sox fail to figure out Mark Melancon’s pitching and cannot extend their lead.
After several foul balls, Melancon strikes out Alex Hassan.
Mike Carp grounds one to first, but Andrew Lambo scampers to the bag for the second out.
Melancon strikes David Ross out for an impressive fifth inning showing.
End 4th, Red Sox 3-0: Left-hander Andrew Miller retires the side in order, striking out Jaff Decker, Chris Dickerson, and Travis Snider to move swiftly into the top of the fifth.
Mark Melancon will pitch for Pittsburgh in the fifth. He is the Pirates’ third pitcher of the day.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 3-0: Right-handed pitcher Jason Grilli takes over the mound for Pittsburgh and proves much more effective against Sox batters than Charlie Morton.
Grilli collects a pair of strikeouts with Travis Shaw and Deven Marrero.
Jackie Bradley Jr. pops out to catcher Chris Stewart to end a quiet inning for the Sox.
Andrew Miller will replace Clay Buchholz in the fourth for his third spring training appearance.
End 3rd, Red Sox 3-0: Clay Buchholz holds strong in the third inning, giving up no hits to the Pirates.
Jordy Mercer marks Buchholz’s first walk of the game, but David Ross quickly throws him out when he tries to steal second during Robert Andino’s at-bat.
Ross lets the ball get away from him for a moment but makes the toss to first for the second out of the inning.
Chris Stewart hits one hard to left-center field, but Jackie Bradley Jr. hops over to make the catch in time to end another scoreless inning for the Pirates.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 3-0: Mike Carp’s solo homer pushes the Red Sox to a 3-0 lead.
Carp launches one past the right field wall for a leadoff homer.
David Ross delivers a dribbler down the third base line, which Alvarez fires to first in time for the first out of the inning. Brock Holt chops one down the first base line that is handled by Andrew Lambo for the second out.
Bryce Brentz grounds one up the middle toward center field for a base hit, but he is left without advancement when Garin Cecchini’s grounder is thrown to first with plenty of time to end the inning.
End 2nd, Red Sox 2-0: Another hitless inning for the Pirates.
Pedro Alvarez chops one to first but cannot make it to the bag before Travis Shaw. Brock Holt handles Andrew Lambo’s snap toward second.
Travis Ishikawa hits over the mound to Deven Marrero, who retires the ball to Travis Shaw. The Red Sox end the third without permitting any baserunners.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 2-0: The Red Sox are on the board after a three-hit inning.
Charlie Morton walks leadoff hitter Bryce Brentz to begin the second.
Garin Cecchini pops one to right-center field that is caught by Jaff Decker for one out.
Pedro Alvarez struggles to handle the ball for the second time when picks up an error for allowing Travis Shaw’s ground ball escape him. Shaw hits the bag at first without a problem, advancing Brentz to second. Andrew Lambo handles Deven Marrero’s bat-breaking slam to the right side, but the runners advance to second and third.
Jackie Bradley Jr. hits a sharp grounder to the right side and sprints to second base, allowing Brentz and Shaw to score.
Alex Hassan wraps up the top half with a strikeout looking.
End 1st, 0-0: Clay Buchholz shows renewed confidence with a 1-2-3 first inning performance.
Buchholz starts with a first-pitch strike to center fielder Jaff Decker. Decker curls one toward left field, but Alex Hassan knee-slides for a terrific catch and Pittsburgh’s first out.
Chris Dickerson hits a tapper down toward third that is easily handled by Garin Cecchini for the second out.
Brock Holt makes the catch on Travis Snider for a clean end to the inning.
Mid 1st, 0-0: The Sox make a little noise at the end of the first half, but two runners are left on with no runs scored.
Jackie Bradley, Jr. grounds the ball to first base with a sloppy reaction play by Pittsburgh’s Andrew Lambo, but Lambo gets the out. Andrew Hassan fouls several times before hitting a sharp grounder towards second, but Robert Andino makes a quick back-handed throw to first for the Sox’s second out of the inning.
Pedro Alvarez is too close to shortstop territory to catch Mike Carp’s dribbler toward third, so Carp collects a base hit with two out.
David Ross chops one to shallow right field for a base hit that advances Carp to second, but Brock Holt’s ground ball is handled by Jordy Mercer to end the first half of the inning.
1:05 p.m.: Charlie Morton throws a first-pitch ball to Jackie Bradley, Jr., and we’re underway at McKechnie Field.
12:54 p.m.: The Red Sox tweet their best birthday wishes to third base coach Brian Butterfield, who turns 56 Sunday.
12:25 p.m.: 17-year-old third baseman Rafael Devers took an at-bat before Sunday’s game. The Red Sox signed the top international free agent from the Dominican Republic in August. Devers was considered one of the best left-handed hitters on the market.
11:30 a.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox struggled to tack on more wins this week, losing five of their last seven games. Following two losses to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, the Sox look to turn around their weak streak by defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field in Bradenton on Sunday at 1:05 p.m..
The Red Sox last faced the Pirates on Monday, when Bryce Brentz and Mike Carp hit a pair of two-run homers, but the Sox ultimately came up short in a 7-6 loss to Pittsburgh.
RHP Clay Buchholz will be making his second start of spring training, after giving up one run in the Sox’s 8-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday. Despite Tuesday’s ugly loss, Buchholz said that he is in good physical condition and only has to worry about “easy fixes” in this next pitching attempt.
NESN’s Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy will be broadcasting live from McKechnie Field in a combined-squad effort with Pittsburgh’s Root Sports.
Keep up with Sunday’s game here at NESN.com and on NESN starting at 1:05 p.m..
Check out each team’s complete lineups below.
Boston Red Sox
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Alex Hassan, LF
Mike Carp, DH
David Ross, C
Brock Holt, 2B
Bryce Brentz, RF
Garin Cecchini, 3B
Travis Shaw, 1B
Deven Marrero, SS
Clay Buchholz, RHP
Jaff Decker, CF
Chris Dickerson, LF
Travis Snider, RF
Pedro Alvarez, 3B
Andrew Lambo, 1B
Travis Ishikawa, DH
Jordy Mercer, SS
Robert Andino, 2B
Chris Stewart, C
Charlie Morton, RHP