SCORE: Braves 8, Red Sox 0
BREAKDOWN: Tanner Houck, who’d struggled with his control (8 innings, 8 walks) in his first three starts, showed improved mechanical consistency over 4⅔ innings against a lineup composed chiefly of Atlanta regulars. He allowed four runs on five hits while walking two and striking out five, with most of the damage coming on a pair of mammoth homers by Atlanta first baseman Matt Olson — a solo shot in the first on a sinker and a two-run blast in the fifth on a splitter. New Bedford native Jared Shuster added to his case to start the season in Atlanta’s rotation. The lefthander struck out seven and walked one over four shutout innings, allowing just three hits (all singles) to lower his spring ERA to 0.71.
NEXT: The Sox will play a pair of split-squad games at 1:05 p.m. Saturday, with Kutter Crawford starting a home game in Fort Myers against the Orioles and Josh Winckowski starting a road game in St. Petersburg against the Rays. The game against the Orioles is on NESN+.
Alex Speier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @alexspeier.