Last night, baseball fans saw not one, but two players make their Major League debut in the same game. Wander Franco and Connor Wong both made their debuts last night at Tropicana Field in Florida. Wander Franco may have come out of the gate hot, but Connor Wong and the Sox got the last laugh. Boston beat Tampa Bay 9-5 in a thriller of a game. The battle of the rookies will continue tonight, as the Red Sox look to take game 2 from the Rays.
Going into the 9th inning on Tuesday night, the game was tied 5-5. Boston was leading in the game following a 5 run 3rd inning. Then, Franco smashed a three run shot to left field to tie it up. Due to the MLB extra innings rule, Connor Wong came into the game to run for JD Martinez at 2nd base. The game broke open with a Rafael Devers double that scored Wong and Bogaerts. From there, the Red Sox secured the 9-5 victory.
The Battle of the Rookies Continues Tonight
The battle of the rookies is a fun thing, especially when it’s within the divisions. For Wander Franco and the Rays, this was a huge moment for their organization. The same can be said for Connor Wong and the Red Sox, however, Franco’s call up was more special, as he has been ranked in the top 5 for prospects since 2019. The last player to have a highly anticipated debut was Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in 2019. Franco was on the field sporting number 5 for the Rays, out of respect to his favorite player, Albert Pujols. In his first at bat against Eduardo Rodriguez, he worked a walk after being down 0-2 in the count. In his next at bat, Franco blasted a 3 run shot to left to tie the game. The 20 year old third baseman didn’t disappoint in his debut, going 2-4 in the game. Franco hit his first homerun, first RBI, first run, and was walked in the game.
On February 10th, 2020, the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts and David Price for Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Connor Wong. Verdugo has made a name for himself here in Boston, while Downs and Wong have been doing well in the minor leagues. Well, following the Red Sox move to place Kevin Plawecki on the injured list, it was time for Wong to come up to the big leagues. Sporting the number 74, Wong made his debut as a pinch runner for JD Martinez. The 25 year old from Texas didn’t get a chance to play defensively last night, but Red Sox fans might be able to see him in the field soon, as Wong can play multiple positions.
Coming Up For Boston
After last night’s extra innings victory, the Red Sox look to continue their winning ways tonight against the Rays. Last night’s win allowed the Red Sox to be 1.5 games ahead of Tampa Bay in the AL East. A win today will allow them to continue to hold down first place in the division. Garrett Richards will have the ball for Boston, and Rich Hill will be going up for Tampa Bay. Nick Pivetta is still slanted to pitch Thursday’s final game for Boston.
The Red Sox will welcome the Yankees to Fenway Park starting Friday night. It looks to be a special game on Friday, as Boston is honoring long time second baseman, Dustin Pedroia. This past offseason, Pedroia announced his retirement from baseball. The beloved second baseman will be greeted with cheers on Friday night. Following the Yankees series, the Red Sox will welcome back Andrew Benintendi and the Kansas City Royals for a four game set before heading back on the road to Oakland.