Red Sox use Xander Bogaerts lead-off triple to cut their deficit to 2-1 in the fifth inning

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Red Sox rookie phenom Xander Bogaerts helped the Red Sox finally get to Cardinals starter Joe Kelly in the fifth inning of Game 3. The 21-year-old hit a slicing liner to right-center, tailing away from center fielder Jon Jay. Right fielder Carlos Beltran gave chase and attempted to cut it off after it landed, but the ball skipped under his glove to the wall. Bogaerts raced around to third base with ease for a lead-off triple. Jarrod Saltalamacchia drew a walk to set up runners on the corners with no outs.

As quickly as they had set themselves up with a golden opportunity, the Red Sox appeared just as eager to see it disappear. Stephen Drew struck out, meaning the Cardinals were one ground ball double play from escaping danger. They almost got it, as Mike Carp hit a slow chopper to second base, but Matt Carpenter could only get the out at second base as Bogaerts scored to make it 2-1 in favor of the Cardinals. Jacoby Ellsbury struck out on a 96 MPH fastball to end the inning.

Miguel Sano gained weight this offseason

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Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:

Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.

They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.

Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.

Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.

So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.