Final, Red Sox 4-0: Submarine-style reliever Shunsuke Watanabe retires the side in order in the ninth, and the Red Sox pick up the win in their second-to-last contest of the spring.
Boston starter Felix Doubront was shaky at times, but he was able to escape multiple jams as he tossed five shutout innings in his first win of the exhibition season.
Mike Carp drove in the Red Sox’s first run with an RBI double in the fourth, and Mike Napoli drove in the team’s third with a home run two innings later.
These two teams will face off again Saturday in the spring training finale.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 4-0: The Red Sox put runners on against Twins reliever Matt Hoffman, but Ryan Lavarnway flies out to right field with two men out to end the inning.
We’re headed to the bottom of the ninth.
End 8th, Red Sox 4-0: Right-hander Burke Badenhop takes over for Brandon Workman and works a scoreless eighth.
Badenhop issued a two-out walk to Aaron Hicks but retired the other three batters he faced, striking out Eduardo Escobar to end the inning.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 4-0: Samuel Deduno strikes out the side in order, with Jonny Gomes, Mike Carp and Ryan Dent all going down by way of the K.
End 7th, Red Sox 4-0: New pitcher Brandon Workman puts the Twins away in order, and we head to the eighth.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 4-0: It’s seventh-inning stretch time in Fort Myers.
Samuel Deduno struck out Jonathan Herrera to open the inning before getting Ryan Lavarnway (who took over for A.J. Pierzynski behind the plate) to ground out and putting down DH replacement Aneury Tavarez on strikes.
End 6th, Red Sox 4-0: With Felix Doubront’s outing now over, Drake Britton takes over in the sixth and quickly puts down the Twins in order.
Britton needed just two pitches to record his first out, as Eduardo Escobar flied out to Shane Victorino in center field.
Pedro Florimon then grounded out to shortstop, and Victorino gloved Jason Bartlett’s fading fly ball to end the inning.
Doubront was far from perfect today, but his final stat line doesn’t look too shabby: zero runs, seven hits, two walks, seven strikeouts over five innings of work.
Samuel Deduno takes over on the mound for the Twins.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 4-0: Mike Napoli has his first hit of the afternoon, and it leaves the yard.
Napoli launched a 1-2 pitch from Phil Hughes over the left field wall, with the ball passing just of the reach of a leaping Josh Willingham.
After Jonny Gomes flied out to right, Mike Carp poked a single into right-center for his second hit of the game.
Ryan Dent, who took over for Will Middlebrooks after last inning, then reached on a single of his own, blooping one into the gap behind second base.
Another base hit, this one by replacement Derrik Gibson, scored Carp from second and ended Phil Hughes’ night.
Reliever Aaron Thompson wrapped up the inning without further incident, retiring Corey Brown and Shane Victorino.
End 5th, Red Sox 2-0: Felix Doubront continues his trend of getting into and out of trouble here in the fifth.
The first two batters of the inning reached against Doubront, Trevor Plouffe on a leadoff single and Josh Willingham via base on balls.
Doubront then struck out Chris Colabello for his sixth K of the game — tying his highest mark of the spring — and got Josmil Pinto to fly out to Shane Victorino in center field.
Another strikeout, this one by Aaron Hicks, ended the inning and preserved the Sox’s two-run lead.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 2-0: Jonathan Herrera reached on a one-out single, but a line-drive out by A.J. Pierzynski is turned into an inning-ending double play.
Shane Victorino grounded out to third to open the frame.
Some new faces will take the field for the Sox in the home half of the fifth, as Derrik Gibson replaces Xander Bogaerts and Ryan Dent comes in for Will Middlebrooks at third. Gibson will play second, with Jonathan Herrera moving over to Bogaerts’ spot at shortstop.
End 4th, Red Sox 2-0: The Twins have now put a man on third base in three of the game’s four innings, but they still have nothing to show for it.
Aaron Hicks led of the fourth with a base hit to left field off Felix Doubront.
Doubront then got ahead of Eduardo Escobar 0-2 before surrendering another single, this one on a soft liner to right.
Some miscommunication on a Pedro Florimon bunt attempt allowed Hicks to take third base, but Doubront responded by striking out Florimon, Jason Bartlett and Joe Mauer consecutively to retire the side.
The top of the order will look to extend Boston’s lead in the top of the fifth.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 2-0: The Red Sox are on the board.
After working a one-out walk, Mike Napoli comes all the way around on a double down the right-field line by Mike Carp. Napoli mistakenly slid into third base on the play, but he was able to regain his footing and gallop home with time to spare.
Carp then came home himself on the very next at-bat, as Xander Bogaerts dropped an RBI single in front of left fielder Josh Willingham.
Will Middlebrooks grounded one up the middle to push Bogaerts into scoring position, but Phil Hughes struck Corey Brown out looking to end the inning.
A.J. Pierzynski grounded out to lead off the inning, and Jonny Gomes popped out in foul territory before Carp’s RBI double.
End 3rd, 0-0: The Twins strand a man in scoring position again as Felix Doubront completes his third scoreless inning of the day.
Doubront opened the inning by striking out Joe Mauer looking — his second K of the afternoon. After walking Trevor Plouffe, Doubront got a hand from left fielder Jonny Gomes, who ranged to his right to track down a Josh Willingham fly ball.
The ensuing at-bat by Chris Colabello should have been the last of the inning, but Colabello’s line drive bounced off the glove of second baseman Jonathan Herrera and into right field, allowing Plouffe to scamper to third.
Doubront again found his way out of the jam, though, getting Josmil Pinto to fly out to right field to end the inning.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: Shane Victorino lofted a two-out double to the wall in left-center field for the first extra-base hit of the game, but that represented the entirety of the Red Sox’ offense here in the third.
Will Middlebrooks grounded out to short to lead off the inning, and Corey Brown followed with a flyout to left field.
With Victorino on second, Jonathan Herrera grounded to first baseman Chris Colabello, who took it himself for the final out.
End 2nd, 0-0: After requiring 27 pitches to get out of the first inning, Felix Doubront needs just 10 in the second.
Doubront induced two quick groundouts before speedy No. 9 hitter Pedro Florimon reached on a bouncing infield single. Xander Bogaerts snared a Jason Bartlett grounder and fired to Jonathan Herrera at second for the final out.
Will Middlebrooks, Corey Brown and the top of the order are due up for the Sox.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: The Red Sox go down in order in the second.
Jonny Gomes and Mike Carp flied out to right and center, respectively, and Xander Bogaerts grounded out behind second base.
The bottom third of the order is due up for Minnesota in the home half of the frame.
End 1st, 0-0: This was not the first inning John Farrell was hoping to see out of Felix Doubront, but the lefty managed to keep Minnesota off the scoreboard.
Leadoff man Jason Bartlett worked the count full before lining a single to left field. Bartlett has been utterly miserable at the plate this spring, entering today with an average of .083 (3-for-36).
Joe Mauer then grounded to Mike Carp at first after another lengthy at-bat, but Carp was only able to retire the runner at second.
Trevor Plouffe’s time at the plate was considerably more brief, as he saw just two pitches before lining a base hit past Will Middlebrooks at third.
Doubront then blew a fastball past Josh Willingham for the second out of the inning, but the Twins then loaded the bases on a ground ball by Chris Colabello. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts made a nice, leaping bid to nab Plouffe at second, but his throw arrived just a hair too late.
It did not end up costing the Sox, though, as Doubront got Josmil Pinto to fly out to right field for the inning’s final out.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Phil Hughes makes quick work of the Sox in the first.
After Shane Victorino softly grounded out to Eduardo Escobar at second and Jonathan Herrera followed suit to short, A.J. Pierzynski roped a single over Escobar’s head for the game’s first hit.
That’s all the Red Sox would get in the frame, though, as Hughes struck out Mike Napoli on four pitches to retire the side.
The Twins will send Jason Bartlett, Joe Mauer and Trevor Plouffe to the dish in the bottom of the first against Felix Doubront.
1:04 p.m.: Shane Victorino fouls off Phil Hughes’ first offering, and we are underway in Fort Myers.
It’ll be Victorino, Jonathan Herrera and A.J. Pierzynski up first here for the Sox.
12:50 p.m.: The Red Sox have officially optioned Jackie Bradley Jr. to Triple-A. The young center fielder will begin the season in Pawtucket.
Noon ET: It’s almost time for meaningful baseball to begin, as Friday afternoon’s tilt against the Minnesota Twins marks the second-to-last game of the spring for the Boston Red Sox.
Shane Victorino will be back in the lineup for the Red Sox after suiting up in a minor league game Thursday. Victorino’s status for Opening Day was in question as he dealt with some discomfort in his left side, but it now appears that he will be good to go for Monday’s opener.
Victorino will lead off for the Sox and was originally slated to take up his usual post in right field, but he will instead play center following the announcement that Jackie Bradley Jr. will be optioned to Triple-A. Corey Brown will start in right field and bat ninth.
Grady Sizemore, Dustin Pedroia, Daniel Nava and David Ortiz — all projected Opening Day starters — will not be in the lineup against the former New York Yankees starter Phil Hughes.
Left-hander Felix Doubront gets the nod on the mound for Boston, with Brandon Workman, Drake Britton, Tommy Layne and Brayan Villarreal all scheduled to pitch, as well. Doubront got off to a stellar start this spring but struggled mightily in each of his last two outings, allowing a total of 15 runs on 20 hits and five walks over eight innings.
Check out the full lineups below.
Boston Red Sox
Shane Victorino, CF
Jonathan Herrera, 2B
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Mike Napoli, DH
Jonny Gomes, LF
Mike Carp, 1B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Corey Brown, RF
Felix Doubront, LHP
Jason Bartlett, RF
Joe Mauer, DH
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Josh Willingham, LF
Chris Colabello, 1B
Josmil Pinto, C
Aaron Hicks, CF
Eduardo Escobar, 2B
Pedro Florimon, SS
Phil Hughes, RHP
First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.