FORT MYERS, Fla. –– Sparta Performance Science was Lars Anderson's residency over the offseason. The Red Sox prospect spent his days at the training center, determined to bulk up and unload power in 2012.
He took that first step Sunday, going 2-for-2 in the Red Sox' Grapefruit League opener. In the seventh inning, the first baseman crushed a breaking ball over JetBlue Park's right-field fence for a grand slam, keying the Red Sox to a 8-3 win over the Twins.
"Adrian [Gonzalez] who?," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine cracked. "I don't think you can hit a ball better than that. I mean that was a low breaking ball, it was too far to be a souvenir. Probably broke something when it landed in the parking lot. Struck perfectly as [hitting coach Dave Magadan] would say."
Anderson credits the strong offensive start back to Sparta, the facility in his home state of California. He expects the consistency to continue.
"In BP, I feel a lot stronger," Anderson said. "I could feel it hitting in the offseason and I could see the ball jumping a little more than in years past. The difference was training in the offseason and I'm getting older."