DUNEDIN, Fla. — Good afternoon from the inelegantly named Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, just down the road from the cement building on Douglas Ave. selling “Guns n’ Ammo.”
It’ll be assorted Red Sox reliever types against Jose Bautista and the Jays. We’ll have updates throughout the game with the caveat that occasional lulls will occur for trips to the clubhouse.
Once the starters leave the game, they’ll head home. So we usually hang out at the clubhouse for a few innings.
At any rate, hope we can entertain you for a few hours.
Middle of the 1st: Red Sox 0, Jays 0: Mike Aviles roped a double to right that Francisco should have caught but seemed to lose. Aviles was then thrown out at third on a ball back to the pitcher. Ross popped to second and Youkilis flew to center.
There are empty seats here, but a solid crowd. It’s windy here, which is usually the case.
Top of the 2d: Red Sox 0, Jays 0: Vizquel singled. Johnson then grounded to first before Germano hit Bautista on the arm. Encarnacion grounded into a force at second as Youkilis ranged to his left to make a play he was all but incapable of last season because of his injuries. Rasmus then grounded to second.
Germano finished last season in Korea and had success there.
Middle of the 2d: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0: Quick inning for Morrow. Ortiz fanned swinging, Anderson grounded to second, and Shoppach hit a sinking liner to right that Francisco made a nice play on, atoning for his first-inning stumble.
Top of the 3d: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0: That’s two solid innings for Germano, who retired the Jays in order.
Middle of the 3d: Red Sox 1, Blue Jays 0: Tejeda singled and went to third on a hit-and-run single by Linares. Aviles popped to shortstop but Sweeney delivered a sac fly to left, nicely going the other way with a drive to the base of the wall.
Ross was given a single on a ball that Lawrie booted. Then Youkilis struck out. Germano is done and Justin Thomas is pitching for the Sox.
Top of the 4th: Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 1: Thomas had the bases with no outs for Bautista and got him to pop to second. Encarnacion followed with a single to left. Two runs scored on the play as did a third when Ross overran the ball. Rasmus then popped to left before Lawrie hit a drive to the wall in right that Sweeney made a terrific catch on.
Sweeney is a vastly underrated defensive player. He could be a good fit at Fenway Park in right field.
Middle of the 4th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 3: That tricky wind helped the Sox tie it. Anderson singled with one out and went to second on a pop-up single by Shoppach that blew around and fell in as Francisco gave chase. Tejeda struck out. Linares grounded to shortstop but 76-year-old Omar Vizquel threw the ball away and two runs scored.
Tony Pena Jr. now coming in to pitch.
Top of the 5th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 3: Francisco singled and Mathis reached on an error by Youkilis with one out. But Pena got Vizquel to ground into a 4-6-3 double play.
Middle of the 5th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 3: Youkilis walked with two outs but Ortiz grounded into a force at second.
Mark Melancon now pitching for the Sox. Anderson, Youkilis, Sweeney, and Ross are all out of the game. Bryce Brentz is on the trip and is now playing right field. Be fun to see him get some at-bats.
Middle of the 7th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 3: Sorry for the lack of recent updates, had to hit the clubhouse. But no runs were scored, I can tell you that. And the official scorer here is insane.
Middle of the 8th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 3: Same score here in Dunedin. All of the Red Sox starters are on a bus headed back to Fort Myers at this point. The exception is Mike Aviles, who has put in a full day at shortstop.
Doug Mathis is pitching for the Sox now. The Sox have out-hit the Blue Jays, 7-6. How many other things can I write to cover up the fact that I stopped keeping score? I think I’m out.
Top of the 9th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 3: We go to the ninth all tied up.
Middle of the 9th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 3: Doug Mathis on the mound for the Sox.
Adeiny Hechararria, the hotshot Cuban shortstop prospect, is in the game for the Jays.
Game over: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 3: It ends in a tie.