FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Takeaways from the Fort, where Red Sox manager John Farrell can never have back the 18-hour day he spent traveling back and forth from Sarasota to watch his team lose two to the Baltimore Orioles by a combined score of 20-5 -- 7-3 in Sarasota in the matinee, 13-2 in the nightcap in JetBlue. And another bus ride beckons Sunday, when the Sox head to Bradenton.
The result: The Sox are now 2-7-1 after Saturday’s double dip. The evening affair, as the score suggests, was uglier by far, the Sox committing six errors while managing just three hits. Sox batters also whiffed 11 times, while Sox pitchers gave up 13 hits and 6 walks. The Orioles even managed to execute a double steal against catcher Christian Vazquez, who had thrown out every runner who had attempted to run on him all spring. This, with most of the regulars in the lineup against a lightly seasoned Orioles team. It was serendipity that the Bruins were playing Saturday night, leaving NESN no option but to televise the afternoon game.
Fumble!: Did you say six errors? The most the Sox made in a regular-season game last season was three (six times).
The postmortem: An exhausted Farrell: “Long day, got our reps in. We can do much better defensively, there’s no question. I can’t say there’s a common thread (in the misplays) because we had guys who played positions where they’re at (before), especially tonight, where things got away from us defensively, and yet we’re working each day to shore the infield defense up.’’
The highlights: Just two: Vazquez, after an at-bat that reached double digits in pitches, hit a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth for Boston’s only scoring of the night. It would have been easy for the kid to give up the at-bat, but he fouled off numerous pitches against a veteran pitcher, Troy Patton, before hitting a 3-and-2 pitch over the Monster. “He competes, there’s no question about it,’’ Farrell said. ... Orioles minor-leaguer Mike Yastrzemski, in an encore appearance here, drove in two runs, one with a ground ball, the other with a sharp single up the middle. He also played left field in front of the faux Monster; his famous grandfather owned the real one.
X files: Xander Bogaerts was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. He made a nice relay on Corey Brown’s throw from center field to nail David Lough at the plate on Lough’s failed bid for an inside-the-park home run.
Dot, dot, dots: Farrell mentioned that the Sox will get through split-squad games Tuesday (Orioles, Marlins) before making any cuts. ... The errors: third baseman Jonathan Herrera made two, left fielder Jonny Gomes, second baseman Heiker Meneses, pitcher Brayan Villareal and third baseman Garin Cecchini made one apiece. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski was charged with a passed ball. ... Brown and Brandon Snyder had the only Sox hits through seven innings. ... Orioles prospect Kevin Gausman was extremely sharp, keeping his plus fastball down in the zone while striking out Daniel Nava, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli in his three scoreless innings (1 hit, no walks). ... Brandon Workman did a nice job pitching out of a two-on, one-out jam in the first before being touched for a couple of runs in a sloppy fourth (walk, single, error, passed ball, infield hit). “He was pressed to make some pitches early on and he did, and when he’s down in the strike zone, he’s extremely effective,’’ Farrell said. “We’ve got a guy with a good breaking ball with a couple of changeups he threw tonight that showed good separation from his fastball. He went out and did his job with what we’re looking for.’’ ... Miguel Celestino and Shunsuke Watanabe were torched during the eight-run seventh. ... Jake Peavy threw a 50-pitch bullpen session, came out of it fine, and is scheduled to make his first start Thursday.
Replay comes to the Jet: With Monday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays scheduled to be televised Monday afternoon by MLB Network, the Red Sox will get an opportunity to test the new replay rules. Unlike the regular season, when a replay umpire in New York will review contested plays from a dozen angles shown by ultra-high definition television cameras, an umpire will be reviewing plays in a TV truck parked outside the ballpark.
For the first time, calls at first base, at the plate and on the bases will be reviewable. There will be limited exceptions, including the "neighborhood play" at second base.
The new replay rule will allow a team’s manager one challenge. If his challenge is upheld, he is awarded a second challenge. For the last three innings of a game, umpires are empowered to initiate a review of a play on their own, but only if a manager is out of challenges.
One Sox employee due to take on added responsibilities -- and significance -- is Billy Broadbent, the team’s video coordinator. Farrell said that Broadbent has been designated as the man who will be watching game feeds back in the clubhouse and will alert those in the dugout whether a play should be challenged. Farrell will be buying time on the field talking to the umpire until getting the thumbs up or down from bench coach Torey Lovullo whether to initiate a challenge.
Home run guru David Vincent, who is the Washington Nationals’ official scorer and will be scoring Monday’s game, noted that since home runs became reviewable in August 2008, there have been more reviews at Fenway Park (23) than any other park.
Laying the groundwork: Interesting observation made here by Jorge Arangure Jr. regarding David Ortiz’s impact on the way Latins are regarded in baseball.
“When Ortiz finally retires, he will leave behind a game that has increasingly been forced to accept a new generation of Latin players -- bold, opinionated and wealthy -- a change of attitude he helped bring about,’’ Arangure Jr. writes on the Sports On Earth website. “Soon, Ortiz believes, Latin players will not only excel on the field, but also in field managing positions, in the front office and even in Major League Baseball's offices.
"There's more of us than ever," Ortiz said. "You see a lot of young talent coming up. It's a matter of time until you'll see more Latinos in higher positions. As Latinos, we just have to be serious in our work and show them that we're capable of having these positions. That's going to open more doors."