In their final game of Spring Training, the Boston Red Sox went up against the Washington Nationals, winning 8-7. The game started off heading in the direction of a Red Sox blow out, but by the end, they barely scraped by with the win. Clay Buchholz started against Nationals’ pitcher Edwin Jackson. Buchholz pitched five and two-thirds innings, allowing four hits and four runs that included a three-run homer from Nationals’ catcher Wilson Ramos in the fifth and a one-shot to shortstop Ian Desmond in the sixth. The first four innings he pitched well, retiring the first 12 batters in order. With five strikeouts and no walks on the day, Buchholz is ready for the regular season to begin.
Red Sox offense was hot with their one-two hitters, starting off the fourth inning against Jackson with Jacoby Ellsbury’s single and Dustin Pedroia’s RBI double to hit him in. Pedroia went to third on Adrian Gonzalez’ sacrifice fly, then scored when David Ortiz grounded out to second. The Sox added four more runs in the fifth to make it 6-0. Ellsbury singled in Cody Ross, followed by Pedroia’s second double scoring Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ellsbury, and Gonzalez’s single to score Pedroia.
As the Nationals started carving away at their lead, the Red Sox did not score again until the eighth inning, where they tied the game 7-7 on Daniel Nava’s one-shot home run. Alfredo Aceves held off the Nationals in the bottom of the eighth, shutting the side down in order, and Jason Repko got the eventual game-winning RBI in the ninth on a single that scored reserve catcher Dan Butler, who had a single of his own to get on base.
With Sox pitcher Corye Spoone now in for Aceves in the bottom of the ninth, he got Ramos to line out for the first out and Roger Bernadina to pop out for the second out of the inning. Desmond then walked, stole second, and tried to come home on Danny Espinosa’s single to Repko in center. Repko came up with a perfect throw to the plate and threw him out to end the game and keep the score 8-7, Sox.
Though just a Spring Training game, it’s always good for the Sox to come up with a win, especially after blowing a large lead. It was also a good game for center-fielder Jason Repko who was playing for a roster spot during the regular season. He’s had a good spring, with a .289BA, .373OBP, five walks, six RBI, and seven stolen bases in 26 games. The Sox already have Darnell McDonald and Ryan Sweeney as outfield options, with Carl Crawford on the DL and Cody Ross either playing left or right.