Another day, another homer-laden offensive outburst by the Braves in Grapefruit League action. On Monday afternoon in North Port, it was time for Eddie Rosario, Matt Olson, and Sean Murphy to leave the yard as the Braves cruised to a 6-1 win over the Red Sox.
No one really cares, but suffice to say, Red Sox starter Tanner Houck did not have the most aesthetically-pleasing tune-up for the regular season. With one out in the second, Michael Harris II tripled, and then Ozzie Albies walked and stole second. That set up Eddie Rosario’s three-run shot, his second consecutive game with a homer, to open the game up.
In the next frame, Ronald Acuña Jr. drew a leadoff walk, and then Matt Olson went mammo for the eighth time in 2023 Grapefruit League play. Two batters later, Sean Murphy crushed one off Houck into straightaway center. Bada bing, bada boom, six runs on three homers in the span of seven batters.
The Braves nearly broke things even further open against a clearly-struggling Kenley Jansen in the fourth, but Olson hit into a double play after three straight reached on two walks and a single. Harris and Rosario each finished with two hits; Acuña finished with two walks, all before the kids took over in the late innings.
Pitching-wise, it was a bunch of scoreless innings for the presumptive major league bullpen: Jesse Chavez, Dylan Lee, Collin McHugh, Nick Anderson, Lucas Luetge, and Joe Jimenez combined for six scoreless frames with a combined 6/1 K/BB ratio. Chavez issued the only walk (and had no strikeouts), Lee struck out two in his inning of work, and Jimenez gave up the game’s first Red Sox hit. Luis de Avila and Alec Barger threw the final three frames; de Avila yielded an unearned run in the eighth on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch (the bases were loaded due to an error at third and an infield single).
You can probably smell Opening Day at this point, but the Grapefruit League schedule doesn’t care: there’s one more game between these two teams with the Braves going on the road, before they head north and prepare to open their season in Washington on Thursday.