By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ARLINGTON, Texas -- A few days ago, the Red Sox couldn't beat the Texas Rangers. Now, seemingly, they can't lose.
The Red Sox walloped the Rangers, 6-0, for their third straight victory against Texas. The Sox began the week with an 0-3 record against the Rangers this season, then lost the series opener Monday.
In the final three games of the series, however, the Red Sox outscored the Rangers 30-5.
Four homers -- including two by Adrian Gonzalez -- paced the Red Sox attack. David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia also homered.
Andrew Miller blanked Texas for 6 13 innings to post his second straight win. Alfredo Aceves and Dan Wheeler combined to provide 2 23 innings of scoreless relief to mop up.
The victory concluded a 17-game stretch in which the Red Sox played 14 games on the road. In that span, the Red Sox were 10-7 and lost no ground to the second-place New York Yankees, whom they continued to lead by a game in the division.
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The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:
“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”
Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.
That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.