The Boston Red Sox got an early look at the AL East’s newest superstar when they visited the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota, Fla. on Saturday afternoon.

Just weeks before the start of spring training, the Orioles made a blockbuster move to acquire 2021 National League Cy Young award winner Corbin Burnes from the Milwaukee Brewers.

After a string of dominant seasons with consistent 200+ strikeout totals, Burnes took the ball for the first time with the Orioles on Saturday in his spring debut. He did not allow a run against the Red Sox with two strikeouts in his lone inning.

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Now, realistically, can Boston take anything from this outing from Burnes?

Not really. It’s his first start of the spring and Wilyer Abreu was the only everyday player to face him for the Red Sox.

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What it can serve as is an early challenge for the Red Sox to seek internal improvement given what will await them around the American League East in the regular season. With the New York Yankees trading for Juan Soto in December, there will be no shortage of star power within the division.

The Red Sox have certainly expressed the right mentality with several veterans, along with manager Alex Cora, instilling a competitive narrative that challenges the roster to rise to another level after two disappointing scenes.

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While spring training results don’t translate to the regular season, Saturday’s starter for the Orioles gave the Red Sox a reminder to bring their best competitive energy on a nightly basis in the toughest division in baseball in 2024.

Featured image via Kim Klement Neitzel/USA TODAY Sports Images