THE SPRING SLATE: Today Boston plays its 21st spring training game against a major league opponent…32 Grape- fruit League contests were scheduled over a 31-day span from 3/5-4/4, and 1 was cancelled due to unplayable field conditions (Monday vs. STL)…The club has completed 10 home games (5-5) and 9 road games (5-4-1)…The Sox be- gan the exhibition season with a doubleheader sweep of Boston College and Northeastern University on 3/3. Yesterday the Sox enjoyed their only Grapefruit League off-day following a stretch of 21 scheduled games (20 were completed) over the first 20 days of Grapefruit League play from 3/5-24.
GRAPEFRUIT STAND: The Red Sox are 10-9-1 (.526) in Grapefruit League play, T-6th in the GL standings…The 10 wins are already 1 shy of their 2014 GL total (11-17- 2)…Boston is 1-1-1 in its last 3 completed games but has dropped 4 of its last 7 contests (2-4-1). Boston has won 10 of its last 18 games beginning with a 7-game winning streak over 6 days from 3/7- 12…The win streak was Boston’s longest in spring training since a 7-gamer in 2009…The club last produced a longer win streak in spring training with a 9-game tear in 1981 (Source: Bill Nowlin – SABR).
CHAIRMAN’S CUP CONTINUED: The Red Sox and Twins match up today for the 4th of 9 times this spring as they battle for the Chairman’s Cup (formerly Mayor’s Cup)…Bos – ton leads the series 2-games-to-1. Before last year’s series ended in an unprecedented tie (3-games-to-3), Boston had taken 6 of 7 the previous Cup titles, including both 2012 and 2013… Prior to that 7-gear stretch, the Twins won 10 of the first 14 series from 1993-2006.
This cross-county rivalry is in its 23rd season, with Minnesota holding an 11-10-1 advantage over Boston all-time…The Twins have a 65-60-1 edge in those contests.
BACK FIELDS: Yesterday Justin Masterson started High-A Salem’s game on the back fields at the Fenway South Player Development Complex against Orioles minor leaguers… His line: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 4 SO, 2 HBP, 80 pitches/54 strikes…Note he recorded 2 outs in the first inning.
TUESDAY RECAP: On Tuesday the Red Sox dropped a 9-4 decision to the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter… Boston was leading 4-1 until allowing 8 Miami runs in the bottom of the 8th inning. Brian Johnson started and fanned 5 batters while allowing 1 run in 3.2 innings…Dalier Hinojosa (0.1 IP), Robbie Ross Jr. (1.0 IP), and Matt Barnes (1.0 IP) followed with scoreless relief, while Henry Owens (L, 1.1 IP, 6 R/4 ER) and Dana Eveland (0.2 IP, 2 R/ER) permitted runs. All 4 Red Sox runs scored in a 4-hit 3rd inning…Blake Swihart (1-for-3, R, RBI) hit an RBI ground-rule double in that frame, and Allen Craig (1-for-3, 3 RBI) later drove in 3 runs on a bases-clearing double…Jackie Bradley Jr. went 3-for-4.
ROSTER CUTS: This morning, the Red Sox optioned OF Bryce Brentz, 3B/OF Garin Cecchini, and RHPs Heath Hem- bree and Zeke Spruill were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket… The club also reassigned LHP Henry Owens to minor league camp and released RHP Mitchell Boggs. With these moves, the Red Sox now have 43 players in big league camp, including 32 players from the 40- man roster, and 11 non-roster invitees.