Final, Red Sox 4-2: Edward Mujica closed out the Red Sox’s 4-2 victory.
Will Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts each collected two hits for Boston. One of Middlebrooks’ knocks was a solo homer that put the Red Sox on the scoreboard in the third inning.
The biggest hit of the day, however, came from Grady Sizemore, who gave the Red Sox a 4-2 lead with a two-run homer in the sixth inning. Sizemore’s blast was his first of spring training and his first in a Red Sox uniform.
Clay Buchholz looked very good in his six innings. Buchholz had a shaky third inning, but otherwise was fantastic. The right-hander gave up two runs on three hits — all in the third — while striking out five and walking two.
The Red Sox will be back in action against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday. That game is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 4-2: Will Middlebrooks had a nice afternoon.
Middlebrooks, who singled in the ninth inning, reached base three times. He drove in the Red Sox’s first run of the game in the third inning with his third homer of spring training.
Middlebrooks’ ninth-inning single didn’t lead to any additional damage. Josh Lueke completed a scoreless frame for Tampa Bay.
End 8th, Red Sox 4-2: The Red Sox can feel pretty good about the back end of their bullpen to begin the 2014 season.
Junichi Tazawa followed Koji Uehara’s perfect seventh inning with a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
Tazawa, most importantly, kept the ball down in the eighth. He induced a couple of ground ball outs and struck out Brandon Guyer swinging.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 4-2: Xander Bogaerts drove one to the warning track in the eighth inning.
Jake McGee took over on the mound for Tampa Bay. He sandwiched a Mike Napoli walk with two strikeouts. Jonny Gomes and Grady Sizemore both went down hacking.
Bogaerts then smoked one toward the wall in center field, but Brandon Guyer, who replaced David DeJesus at the start of the inning, raced back to make the grab.
Junichi Tazawa will pitch the eighth inning for Boston.
End 7th, Red Sox 4-2: Koji Uehara continues to make it look easy.
Uehara breezed through a perfect seventh inning, striking out two hitters in the process.
Uehara struck out James Loney and Matt Joyce swinging. Logan Forsythe, pinch hitting for Sean Rodriguez, grounded to third base.
Sometimes, it just doesn’t look fair when Koji is on the mound.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 4-2: Joel Peralta enjoyed a scoreless seventh inning for the Rays.
Daniel Nava walked with two down, but Peralta rebounded to finish off a clean inning.
Will Middlebrooks and Dustin Pedroia flied out, and Jackie Bradley popped out in the seventh.
End 6th, Red Sox 4-2: Clay Buchholz struck out two and walked one in a scoreless sixth inning.
Buchholz struck out David DeJesus swinging and Wil Myers looking to begin the inning. Ben Zobrist then walked before Evan Longoria grounded out to his third base counterpart to end the frame.
Buchholz’s day appears to be done, as the right-hander is receiving handshakes in the Red Sox’s dugout.
Buchholz gave up two earned runs on three hits — all in the third inning — over five innings. He struck out five and walked two.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 4-2: Grady Sizemore enjoyed a special moment in the sixth inning.
Sizemore ripped a two-run homer over the right field fence, marking his first home run of spring training. Sizemore, of course, hasn’t trotted around the bases in such a manner since 2011.
Mike Carp paved the way for Sizemore’s two-run blast with a leadoff walk. The Rays turned to Cesar Ramos after Carp’s walk, and Sizemore jumped all over Ramos’ offering two batters later.
This marks a big week for Sizemore, who is beginning a stretch in which he’ll play five games in six days (including three consecutive games). John Farrell said Tuesday the Red Sox likely won’t carry both Sizemore and Jackie Bradley Jr. on the club’s Opening Day roster if Shane Victorino is healthy.
End 5th, 2-2: Clay Buchholz’s only hiccup has been the third inning. The right-hander otherwise has been very sharp.
Buchholz tossed another 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, although he nearly threw it away — literally.
Sean Rodriguez led off with a slow roller in the infield. Buchholz charged off the mound to grab it and nearly threw the ball away at first base. Fortunately for the Red Sox, Mike Napoli laid out to make the catch while managing to keep his foot on the bag.
Buchholz struck out Yunel Escobar to end the inning.
Mid 5th, 2-2: Jake Odorizzi navigated around a leadoff walk in the fifth inning.
Will Middlebrooks, who homered in his previous at-bat, walked to begin the inning.
Odorizzi took care of Jackie Bradley Jr., Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia.
Bradley has struck out a couple of times in this game, continuing an up-and-down spring for the young outfielder.
End 4th, 2-2: Clay Buchholz rebounded nicely in the fourth.
Buchholz, who surrendered two runs on three hits and a walk in the third inning, enjoyed a 1-2-3 fourth inning.
Evan Longoria, James Loney and Matt Joyce went down in order. Joyce struck out swinging to end the inning.
Mid 4th, 2-2: The Red Sox and Rays are trading blows in Port Charlotte.
Boston responded to Tampa Bay’s two-run inning with another run of its own in the fourth inning.
Xander Bogaerts drove in Mike Napoli from second base with a two-out single into left field.
Napoli nearly left the yard earlier in the inning, as he drove a fly ball to right field that took Wil Myers onto the warning track. Myers probably should have made the catch, but it popped out of his glove.
End 3rd, Rays 2-1: The Rays delivered a hard counter-punch in the third inning.
Tampa Bay scored two runs on three hits and a walk to grab a 2-1 lead.
Sean Rodriguez led off with a single, and Jose Molina drove him in with a double into the right field corner.
Clay Buchholz then retired Yunel Escobar on a line drive to right field that hung up long enough for Jackie Bradley Jr. to make the play.
Buchholz walked David DeJesus, which set the table for Wil Myers. Myers made it 2-1 with a line drive into left field.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: Will Middlebrooks took Jake Odorizzi deep in the third inning to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead.
Middlebrooks kicked off the frame with a solo blast to left. It was Middlebrooks’ third home run of spring training.
Jackie Bradley Jr. struck out swinging for the first out of the third, which certainly doesn’t bode well for his center field candidacy.
Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia each grounded out.
End 2nd, 0-0: Clay Buchholz has begun his fifth spring training start with back-to-back 1-2-3 innings.
Evan Longoria flied out, and Buchholz then induced two ground ball outs.
James Loney bounced back to Buchholz, and Matt Joyce grounded down to first base.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Xander Bogaerts looked to get something going with a two-out single into left field.
Bogaerts endured some struggles during spring training, but the 21-year-old said the other day he’s beginning to feel much more comfortable at the plate.
Jake Odorizzi ensured Bogaerts’ two-out knock didn’t lead to any damage. He got A.J. Pierzynski to ground out to first base — one of three groundouts in the second inning.
End 1st, 0-0: Clay Buchholz answered right back with a perfect first inning of his own.
Buchholz has done a nice job of keeping the ball on the ground this spring, and he continued that trend in the first inning.
Buchholz induced back-to-back ground ball outs before striking out Ben Zobrist to end the inning.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Nice first inning for Jake Odorizzi.
Odorizzi struck out Dustin Pedroia and Mike Carp while working a 1-2-3 inning.
Pedroia thought he had earned a walk before finding out the bad news. Odorizzi caught the second baseman looking with a fastball on the outside corner.
Carp went down hacking to finish off Odorizzi’s perfect frame.
1:22 p.m.: Jake Odorizzi takes the mound, and we’re ready for baseball in Port Charlotte. Saddle up.
1:04 p.m.: The first pitch is expected to be delivered at 1:20 p.m. Set your alarm.
1:02 p.m.: It looks like this one will be delayed by at least a few minutes. The grounds crew is taking care of business in Port Charlotte.
12:30 p.m.: Shane Victorino is one name missing from the Red Sox’s starting lineup.
Victorino originally was scheduled to play Tuesday, but he has been scratched due to discomfort in his left side. Red Sox manager John Farrell said he still expects Victorino to be ready for Opening Day, although this latest ailment certainly raises questions about the outfielder’s availability.
Farrell also told reporters Tuesday that the Red Sox still are having internal discussion regarding the club’s center field competition between Grady Sizemore and Jackie Bradley Jr. If Victorino is healthy, the Red Sox will not carry both Sizemore and Bradley.
Read more about Victorino’s status and the Red Sox’s center field battle at the link below.
12:15 p.m.: Tuesday’s starting lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox
Daniel Nava, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Mike Carp, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Grady Sizemore, CF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., RF
Clay Buchholz, RHP
Tampa Bay Rays
David DeJesus, CF
Wil Myers, RF
Ben Zobrist, 2B
Evan Longoria, 3B
James Loney, 1B
Matt Joyce, LF
Sean Rodriguez, SS
Jose Molina, C
Yunel Escobar, DH
Jake Odorizzi, RHP
12:05 p.m.: It looks like we’ve got rain in the forecast in Port Charlotte. Hopefully, Mother Nature will pull on the reins a little bit today and let everyone see some baseball.
11:45 a.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays will battle in Port Charlotte on Tuesday.
Clay Buchholz gets the nod for Boston, marking his fifth start of spring training. Buchholz owns a 2.77 ERA (four earned runs in 13 innings) over his first four starts.
Buchholz gave up three runs on five hits over five innings in his last outing against the New York Yankees on Thursday. Buchholz wasn’t quite as sharp as he had been in his three previous starts, but the right-hander, who dealt with injury woes last season, appears to be responding well physically to everything thrown his way.
The Red Sox and Rays are scheduled to get started at 1:05 p.m. Be sure to tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with NESN.com throughout the day for updates.