Postgame, Red Sox 9-2: Terry Francona called it a “nice day” for the Red Sox.
He was pleased with John Lackey, impressed with Adrian Gonzalez and loved the way the hitters fought and the pitchers threw stikes. Boston had 16 hits and drew four walks, compared to seven and three for Florida.
Two small notes for you. Alfredo Aceves will make the start Monday against the New York Yankees, rather than Clay Buchholz. Francona said that he and Curt Young should have the rotation mapped out beyond that by Sunday morning, so look for that then.
Also, nothing to worry about with Carl Crawford. We mentioned earlier he was off today and is off tomorrow and had not been seen in the clubhouse. But Francona just wanted to give him two straight days to get away, citing “normal spring training soreness.”
With that, we turn our attention to Sunday, when Josh Beckett pitches in Bradenton against Pittsburgh. The game is at 1:05 p.m. and the great Nick Coman is scheduled to carry you through it.
Final, Red Sox 9-2: Plenty to like about this one. Adrian Gonzalez debuts with a single and a sacrifice fly, Jacoby Ellsbury goes 3-for-3 with two doubles and a homer and John Lackey looks pretty strong in 4 1/3 innings.
The Red Sox are now 9-7-1 this spring.
Heading down to hear from Terry Francona. Will wrap this up for you in a few minutes.
End 8th, Red Sox 9-2: The heavy pressure of trying to finish this one off falls on the big shoulders of Blake Maxwell.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 9-2: The Marlins picked up an unearned run against Matt Fox, who has eight strikeouts in five pretty solid innings this spring.
A couple of notes on Adrian Gonzalez that will be in the postgame story (which just needs some Terry Francona insight). Gonzalez reiterated that he will not dive for balls at first base until the regular season, probably a tough thing in an instinctive sport. Also, he continues to use a lighter bat than the one he would like to use, something he was forced to do last season when the shoulder issues popped up.
End 7th, Red Sox 9-1: For just the second time today the Red Sox fail to score, despite a pair of hits to lead things off. Matt Fox is your new pitcher.
Sorry for the delay in updates. Our program is being extremely uncooperative. Just gave it a timeout and a juice box, so hopefully it will be nicer going forward.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 9-1: Bobby Jenks issued his first walk in four innings this spring. That’s all, though. He has allowed only two baserunners while striking out five in four scoreless frames overall.
End 6th, Red Sox 9-1: Boston batted around in the sixth and got three more runs on an RBI single by Michael Almanzar and then a pair of sacrifice flies.
The Sox have four sac flies in this one.
Bobby Jenks is making an appearance in the seventh. He has been lights out so far.
3:07 p.m.: Back in the press box and the Red Sox have the bases loaded in the sixth with no outs. Michael Almanzar is the hitter.
John Lackey said he treated this one much more like a regular season game, throwing everything he had and pitching a bit more to situations.
He was asked about what it would be like to pitch to a lineup like the Red Sox:
“It’d be tough, we’re deep….It’s going to be a fun place to be.”
He said he’s been talking to his fellow starters about trying to outlast one another, knowing that the run support could be something else.
“We might run into several wins,” Lackey said.
Lackey will get his normal rest before his next start and then probably an extra day off before his fifth start.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 6-1: Randy Williams gets through the top of the sixth inning without an issue. We are off to hear from John Lackey.
End 5th, Red Sox 6-1: David Ortiz doubled to start the fifth and Mike Cameron later drove in a pinch runner (Daniel Nava) with a long sacrifice fly to left-center field.
The subs are coming on fast and furious now. Actually, not one starter in there anymore as Josh Reddick takes over for Cameron and Paul Hoover takes over for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Ryan Kalish is in right field.
John Lackey threw 75 pitches in his 4 1/3 innings, 49 for strikes.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 5-1: John Lackey did allow six hits in 4 1/3 innings but did not walk a batter and has yet to do so this spring in 10 1/3 frames. Randy Williams got the last two outs of the fifth.
2:35 p.m.: As expected, John Lackey does not last long in the fifth. Gets one batter and then is removed.
Just the act of having an extra “up-and-down” is the benefit of sending him out there one more time. Randy Williams is the new Red Sox pitcher.
End 4th, Red Sox 5-1: Kevin Youkilis lofts one into the corner in right but it is tracked down for the final out of the fourth.
John Lackey is back out there. Thought his pitch count was high enough to call it after four, but we’ll see where it stands when he finished up.
2:27 p.m.: Jacoby Ellsbury is 3-for-3 with two doubles and a home run after smoking a Josh Johnson offering over the wall in right.
Not to be outdone, Dustin Pedroia followed with his third hit of the afternoon.
Those two and Adrian Gonzalez: 7-for-7 with five RBIs. Um, yeah, that’ll do.
Johnson is done with two outs in the fourth. Nate Spears, who ran for Pedroia, is on at second base.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 4-1: Return to the press box to see John Lackey wiggle out of a jam in the fourth. The Marlins have six hits against Lackey in his four frames, which may be it for him.
Adrian Gonzalez said he was sitting fastball on that first-pitch single. He feels great and talked at lengthe about what it is like hitting in this lineup. Look for a Gonzalez story on the site in a bit.
2:00 p.m.: Off to hear from Adrian Gonzalez. Back in a moment.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 4-1: John Lackey will get one more inning, but that might be it. We will have to see how quickly he gets through the fourth.
Lackey worked around a two-out double in the third. He has given up four hits in three innings.
End 2nd, Red Sox 4-1: Adrian Gonzalez will get all the headlines, but Jacoby Ellsbury’s play is really starting to make us wonder how good this lineup can be.
Ellsbury is now hitting .417 (10-for-24) after his second double in as many innings. He knocked in Mike Cameron, who reached on a bunt hit, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who walked.
Dustin Pedroia followed Ellsbury’s two-run double with a single of his own and Gonzalez picked up his first RBI of the spring with a sacrifice fly to center.
Gonzalez is done as Drew Sutton has taken over at first. Solid first effort for Adrian.
Mid 2nd, 1-1: When John Lackey is going well, you hardly even notice it. He works quick and just gets the job done in such situations.
On a day that Adrian Gonzalez returns and the Red Sox make some roster moves, Lackey’s third start of the spring was almost an afterthought.
He would just assume leave it that way with another smooth outing. That wasn’t the case in the second as three singles got the Marlins on the board. Two were grounders just out of the reach of shortstop Marco Scutaro.
Lackey had to throw a pretty good number of pitches in the inning. We will see how that impacts how far he can go in this one.
End 1st, Red Sox 1-0: Those of you salivating over what this lineup might do when everyone is in there and clicking got a little taste of it in the bottom of the first inning.
Jacoby Ellsbury went from home to second in a blur on a shot down the line in right. Dustin Pedroia then singled him in and Adrian Gonzalez hammered the first pitch he saw into left field for a base hit.
We know Gonzalez loves to go the other way. He did so expertly in that case.
Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and J.D. Drew went in order after that.
Mid 1st, 0-0: John Lackey continues to motor along in Grapefruit League play with a lightning-quick 1-2-3 first. He struck out Logan Morrison to finish it.
Adrian Gonzalez due up third in the bottom of the inning.
Rather fitting that the Red Sox are wearing their home whites the day Gonzalez returns. Makes the sight of him a bit more legit. A pretty nice fit.
12:59 p.m.: A reminder to tune in to NESN to watch this one. And to keep following the live blog. Best of both worlds.
12:01 p.m.: For those of you traveling to Bradenton to see the Sox face Pittsburgh on Sunday, there won’t be very many big names making the trip.
David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury will stay behind.
Among those appearing in relief of Josh Beckett will be Daniel Bard, Andrew Miller and Scott Atchison, so the arms certainly give you something to see.
Speaking of Crawford, he was the first starter removed from Friday’s game after striking out twice and committing an error, has not been seen today and is off Sunday. Likely means nothing, but we’ll keep an eye on his appearances just to make sure nothing is wrong.
10:49 a.m.: A few quick notes from this morning’s session with Terry Francona.
The manager said that Adrian Gonzalez will get two at-bats Saturday, a day off Sunday and then will probably get two more Monday night when the Yankees come to town (NESN, 7:05 p.m.).
Speaking of the Yankees game, it looks less likely that Clay Buchholz will make that start. It’s nothing physical. Buchholz started against New York two outings ago, and the Sox may want to keep him from showing too much to the rivals so early in the campaign.
Francona said Alfredo Aceves “will most likely start that game.” He added that he and pitching coach Curt Young are currently lining everyone up in preparation for the start of the season so there may be some slight movement moving forward.
Former Red Sox reliever Dustin Richardson, traded for Andrew Miller in the offseason, is part of Florida’s travel squad today.
10:41 a.m.: We have the official word on the roster moves. Oscar Tejeda and Stolmy Pimentel were optioned to Double-A Portland and 10 others were reassigned. The clubhouse just got a whole lot roomier.
Those reassigned are pitchers Jason Rice, Tony Pena Jr., Kyle Weiland, Alex Wilson and Clevelan Santeliz; catchers Ryan Lavarnway and Tim Federowicz; infielders Brent Dlugach and Hector Luna; and outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin.
The Sox now have 49 players in camp, including 39 on the major league roster and 11 non-roster invitees.
8:43 a.m.: The lineup card this morning gave us a mild surprise. We never knew exactly when Adrian Gonzalez would get into a game, but today’s the day.
Gonzalez will hit third and play first base this afternoon vs. Florida. Here is the full lineup:
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
J.D. Drew, RF
Mike Cameron, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Marco Scutaro, SS
While Gonzalez is getting set for a new phase of his Red Sox career, many lockers in the clubhouse are being cleaned out. We will get the full list of cuts in a bit, but here are a few guys seemingly on their way to the minor league camp, or elsewhere (remember, this is an unofficial list, just a few guys who were seen packing some things up):
Tony Pena Jr.
8 a.m.: John Lackey will look to go five innings or so in his third spring training start when he takes on the Florida Marlins at City of Palms Park on Saturday afternoon.
Lackey has looked very strong in his six innings so far, allowing a run on five hits. He did not walk a batter until very late in the spring training slate last year, and has yet to do so in this one. The righty went four innings his last time out.
Bobby Jenks is among those scheduled to follow Lackey on the mound.
The Red Sox are coming off a day in which they split a pair of road games, one half winning at Houston while the other dropped a decision at Minnesota.
First pitch for this one is 1:05 p.m., and it will be televised on NESN.
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