FORT MYERS, Fla. — It was an Opening Day of sorts at JetBlue Park on Friday.
The Boston Red Sox, who began their Grapefruit League schedule with a battle against the Minnesota Twins, were introduced on the field by NESN’s Don Orsillo before Friday’s game. Each player who was part of last year’s World Series-winning squad also was recognized for his most iconic moment of 2013.
The Red Sox weren’t able to keep the good times rolling once the action started, though. The Twins prevailed 8-2 to jump ahead in this year’s Chairman’s Cup (formerly known as the Mayor’s Cup) series.
Below are some notes from Friday’s happenings at JetBlue Park.
-Anthony Ranaudo struck out four over two hitless innings. It was a very impressive performance by the 24-year-old, who enters this season on the heels of a solid 2013 campaign.
-Ranaudo, who is expected to begin the year at Triple-A Pawtucket, was asked whether he could envision being this year’s version of Brandon Workman, who made a major impact out of the Red Sox’s bullpen last season despite starting the year at Double-A.
“Obviously, that’s the perfect scenario,” Ranaudo said. “That’s how you draw it up. He came up and immediately made an impact and obviously won the World Series. Those would be some pretty good footsteps to follow in, for sure.”
-Andrew Miller and Dalier Hinojosa struggled in relief of Ranaudo.
Miller surrendered three earned runs and walked three over two thirds of an inning. Hinojosa gave up three earned runs on four hits while striking out three and walking one in 1 2/3 innings.
-Red Sox manager John Farrell wasn’t too concerned about the struggles endured by Miller and Hinojosa.
“It takes him some time to time up that delivery,” Farrell said of Miller. “You know, 6-foot-8, there’s a lot of moving parts there. But I think more importantly, it’s good for us to see him on the mound after coming off it early last July because of the torn ligament in the foot. Spring training is here to get him on line.”
“This is a guy that did not pitch competitively all last year. So today, with both he and Andrew, you certainly have to keep that in mind and keep it in the proper context,” Farrell said of Hinojosa. “They’re going to get repetition, they’re going to get innings. Particularly Hinojosa, facing competition in the States is going to be a little bit different than what he’s experienced, so as we get deeper into camp, we’ll get a better read on him.”
-Catcher David Ross said Miller’s slider was sharp and that the ball looked good coming out of the lefty’s hand. Therefore, the veteran backstop wasn’t concerned, either.
“There’s always going to be jitters, especially when you have a long layoff,” Ross said.
-Mike Napoli collected two hits, and Bryce Brentz drilled his first home run of the spring.
-Francisco Cordero, who turns 39 in May, gave up two hits and struck out one in a scoreless inning.
-Daniel Nava and Grady Sizemore still are expected to be in Saturday’s lineup.
Photo via Twitter/@BGlobeSports