The Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-2, on Tuesday afternoon on the strength of Clay Buchholz’s strong six innings and a two-run home run from Grady Sizemore.
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For Sizemore, who is batting .303 in spring training, it was his first home run in any sort of major league action since July of 2011. The former All-Star, who has been beleaguered by injuries for the last three seasons, is in the catbird seat for the starting job in center field.
Sizemore was modest with reporters after the game, saying, “Honestly, I’m just trying look to the next day and not get ahead of myself.”
Sizemore continued, “I feel good. I’m happy with how everything has gone in a short period. I didn’t expect to feel this good or this good so soon.”
Manager John Farrell had told the media before the game on Tuesday that the Red Sox would not be keeping both Sizemore and Jackie Bradley Jr. on the roster for Opening Day, meaning one of them will be demoted toPawtucket by the end of the week.
In his last outing of spring training, Buchholz molded a quality start. He surrendered only three hits, all of them in the third inning, with only one walk and two runs allowed. He tossed 84 pitches, 50 for strikes, in his six innings of work.
“Clay made a good adjustment after the third inning,’’ Farrell said. “He threw a lot of good curveballs and was down in the zone …he had a little more feel for his curveball today than in previous outings.’’
Shane Victorino missed Tuesday’s game for precautionary reasons (soreness in his left side), but that wasn’t the only thing sticking in his craw.
A new obscure rule implemented by MLB this season says that walk-up songs will be no more than 15 seconds, down from 20 seconds last season.
Red Sox fans often take part in singing along in Victorino’s walk-up song, “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley (the “Don’t worry/about a thing/ ‘cause every little thing/is gonna be alright” part).
“There was a stat of going into the box between pitch [sic], I think mine was like six seconds, which was one of the top five fastest” said Victorino, “for a guy like me of course it sucks because it’s not necessarily for me but it’s part of everything that goes on at Fenway Park when I walk up to the plate. Now you’re going to have so many disappointed fans every night because you’re changing that part of the game.”