By MyFM's Jake Archer - The Red Sox offense pounded out 17 hits while David Price turned in another good start on the way to a 12-6 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon in Fort Myers. Rafael Devers and Mitch Moreland were both perfect at the dish to pace the offense and Boston picked up their eighth straight victory.
It was Joe Musgrove on the mound for the Pirates to start the day and he set down the first four batters before running into trouble in the second. Moreland picked up his first hit of the day on a double to right and Eduardo Nunez followed that up with a single to drive him in. The next batter, Devers, unloaded on his third home run of the spring to make it 3-0 in favor of Boston. Musgrove got the next to outs and the Pirates would answer in the next frame.
In the top of the third, Jordan Luplow led off with a homerun off of Boston starter David Price to cut into the deficit a bit. It was the first batter Price failed to get on the day and it wouldn't be the last as Jordy Mercer smacked a double right after that. Musgrove was due up next as Pittsburgh had elected not to use the DH, since they won't be once the regular season starts. He layed down a sacrifice bunt to move Mercer to third with one out. Adam Frazier doubled home the runner in the next at-bat and made it a one-run game before Price got out of the inning.
The Boston offense picked up their starter as they got the two runs back in the bottom half of the inning. Mookie Betts led off with a single and scored on an Andrew Benintendi double to left. After Hanley Ramirez and JD Martinez were sat down, Moreland stepped up again with an RBI single to give Boston a 5-2 lead. Price flew through the top of the fourth but Musgrove would struggle again. Devers singled to open the inning and after a Christian Vazquez fly-out, Musgrove uncorked a wild pitch to allow Devers to advance to second. Brock Holt then came up and grounded out, which moved Devers to third before Betts singled him home.
After Musgrove got out of the inning, he would be done for the day. His final line was six runs on eight hits and two walks in four innings of work. Price got through the fifth unscathed and then was replaced by Heath Hembree. The line for Price was five innings, two runs on three hits, one walk and four strikeouts. It was another good outing for the big lefty as he tunes up for the season.
In the bottom of the sixth, Kevin Siegrist came in for the Pirates and the Sox offense exploded. Siegrist walked Devers to lead off the frame and then actually picked up an out before a Brock Holt single put runners at the corners. Siegrist got the next batter to K looking and was almost out of the jam with no damage done. That's when Andrew Benintendi and Hanley Ramirez both smacked RBI singles to chase him from the ballgame. Tyler Jones entered and Brett Netzer pinch-ran for Ramirez at first. Jeremy Barfield picked up an RBI infield single and Sam Travis then mashed his fifth homer of spring training to score 3 and make it 12-2 Boston.
Pittsburgh eventuall got out of the inning without allowing more runs to score and they'd hold the Boston offense down pretty well for the rest of the day. Their offense however, would need a major rally to have any hope of winning this one late. In the eighth, they tried to start one. With Brandon Workman on the mound, Bligh Madris led off the frame with a solo-shot. Ke'Bryan Hayes smacked a homer of his own just a batter later, but the Sox wiggled out of the inning at 12-4.
In the ninth, Pittsburgh still wanted to keep going. Ryan Brasier had replaced Workman and he walked the first batter before getting a punchout. Adrian Valerio singled and former Red Sox catcher Ryan Lavarnway doubled home both runners to make it 12-6 with one out in the bottom of the ninth. The next two batters were set down and Boston had a win. David Price got the W while Musgrove took the L. It was another game without an error for the Sox, who struggled a bit in the field early this spring. They are now 16-8 and will visit the Tampa Bay Rays tomorrow at 1:05.