Red Sox Face Nationals in Final Game in Fort Myers

The Red Sox will take the field at City of Palms Park for the final time in 2010, hosting the Washington Nationals in the first of two straight exhibition games between the two teams.

Clay Buchholz will have his final tune-up for the Red Sox, his last outing until an April 11 start in Kansas City. He will be opposed by southpaw Scott Olsen.

Following the game, both teams head to the nation’s capital for a game on Saturday afternoon, the final affair of the exhibition slate.

WHEN AND WHERE

April 2, 2010, 1:05 p.m.
City of Palms Park, Fort Myers, Fla.

RECORDS

Nationals (10-18)
Red Sox (15-14-1)

HEAD TO HEAD

This is the first meeting of the spring between the two teams. They’ll meet again on Saturday in Washington.

LINEUPS

Lineups will be posted once they become available.

PITCHING MATCHUP

LHP Scott Olsen (1-2, 6.75 ERA) vs. RHP Clay Buchholz (1-1, 9.53 ERA)

Buchholz has had an up-and-down spring, but he finished his last start against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday with a few strong innings. He’ll have eight days off before his regular-season debut.

Olsen has given up 30 hits in 14 2/3 innings this spring.

STAT SHEET

Red Sox
Infielder Tug Hulett added to his team-leading RBI total with another on Thursday. He has 16.

John Lackey has walked one man in 20 innings this spring.

Right fielder J.D. Drew is 7-for-42 (.167) with just three RBIs.

Nationals
Ian Desmond, recently named the team’s starting shortstop, leads Washington with 15 RBIs.

Outfielder Justin Maxwell is 5-for-49 (.102) with 20 strikeouts.

Newly acquired starter Jason Marquis has given up 21 runs in 20 2/3 innings, walking 10 and striking out just eight.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox
First baseman Kevin Youkilis is expected to return on Friday after taking a foul ball off his right knee on Wednesday in Sarasota.

Outfielder Jeremy Hermida will get at-bats on Friday at the minor league complex. He has been out since Saturday with a tight right hamstring.

Daisuke Matsuzaka will appear in relief of Tim Wakefield on Saturday in Washington. He is then expected to make three minor league starts.

Nationals
Catcher Jesus Flores is expected to start the season on the disabled list due to a torn labrum.

Reliever Ross Detwiler played catch last week. He is recovering from hip surgery.

OVERHEARD

“I told him when we sat down, I said, ‘Not a lot of guys get up from this chair with a smile.'”
–Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on sitting down with Scott Atchison to tell the reliever he made the team

PRESS BOX

Red Sox
Atchison fills one of Boston’s final roster spots.

The New York Times Co. sells a portion of its Red Sox holdings.

Nationals
Olsen spared the chopping block.

The Stephen Strasburg watch has officially begun.

MLB
MLB execs expect better attendance numbers this year.

Mark McGwire‘s first season back in baseball is about to begin.

OUTLOOK

With the way his spring has been, Buchholz would like to see a solid start. He will get 95 pitches or so before a long layoff and a start in Kansas City in two Sundays.

The Sox would simply like an economical outing for travel purposes. They hop a flight to Washington immediately following the game. Expect plenty of swings at first pitches.

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