THE SPRING SLATE: Today Boston plays its 23rd 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 has been cancelled (3/23 vs. STL due to unplayable field conditions). The club has completed 11 home games (6-5) and 11 road games (5-5-1)…The Sox began the exhibition season with a doubleheader sweep of Boston College and Northeastern University on 3/3. On Wednesday, 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 11-10-1 (.524) in Grapefruit League play…The 11 wins match their 2014 GL total (11-17-2)…Boston is 2-2-1 in its last 5 completed games and has dropped 5 of its last 9 contests (3-5-1). Boston has won 11 of its last 20 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).
CATCHING RAYS: Today’s game marks the 2nd of 4 meet- ings between the Red Sox and Rays this spring, with the clubs playing again tomorrow afternoon at JetBlue Park… Boston took their first meeting 5-1 on 3/10 in Fort Myers… The series rounds out back in Port Charlotte on Tuesday. These clubs will face each other 19 times during the regular season, first in Tampa Bay from 4/21-23…The Rays’ first trip to Boston will be from 5/4-6. Boston dropped the 2014 season series against the Rays, 9-10, despite outscoring Tampa Bay 82-66…The Sox won 6 of their 9 meetings at Fenway Park.
YESTERDAY’S NEWS: The Red Sox dropped a 4-2 de- cision to the Braves in Lake Buena Vista…The game was called due to rain with 2 out in the top of the 7th inning. Mookie Betts went 2-for-3 with a walk and drove in both Red Sox runs with a home run in the 4th inning… Brock Holt (2-for-2) also connected for a pair of hits. Clay Buchholz started and took the loss, allowing 4 runs in 5.0 innings with 6 strikeouts…Robbie Ross Jr. also pitched, fanning 2 in a perfect 6th inning.
ON THE BACK FIELDS: Some major league players not participating in yesterday’s road game played in minor league intersquad action on the back fiends at the Fenway South Player Development Complex. Joe Kelly started: 3.0 IP, 2 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 53 pitches/31 strikes, 12 batters faced. Anthony Varvaro started and recorded 7 outs over two innings, with an extra batter faced in the 2nd inning: H, BB, SO, 28 pitches/19 strikes, 8 batters faced. Christian Vazquez caught Kelly’s 3 innings of work…In 3 PA, he went 1-for-2, BB. Xander Bogaerts played all 6 innings in the field at shortstop…In 2 PA, he went 1-for-2, 2B. Shane Victorino did not play in the field…In 5 PA between both intersquad games, he went 0-for-4