Red Sox Live Blog: Josh Beckett Continues Inching to Form, Helps Key 7-4 Win For Sox


Red Sox Live Blog: Josh Beckett Continues Inching to Form, Helps Key 7-4 Win For Sox

Final 9th, Red Sox 7-4: Michael Bowden continues his impressive string of spring training performances by shutting the door in the ninth.

Valentine has liked what he's seen from the reliever and it'll be interesting to see how it unfolds.

Bottom 8th, Red Sox 7-4: Junichi Tazawa had a rough inning, surrendering three runs. At one point, Red Sox pitching coach Bob McClure walked up to Tazawa to help him get it together.

Orioles second baseman Matt Antonelli registered one of the RBIs.

Bottom 7th, Red Sox 7-1: So Orioles shortstop Manny Machado, who hails from Miami, was a big fan of Josh Beckett's growing up. He was 11 years old when Beckett helped the Marlins win the World Series.

When Beckett caught wind of the anecdote, he laughed.

"Guess that means I'm old," Beckett said. "I guess (Machado) wasn't a Josh Beckett fan because he was taking some hard swings."

Bottom 6th, Red Sox 7-1: After erupting for three runs in the fifth, the Red Sox' bats went silent in the sixth. The gap is still notable.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 7-1: We have a final line on Josh Beckett. He threw five innings, yielded two hits, one run and walked one batter. He struck out two batters and tossed 59 pitches, 40 for strikes.

Ross Ohlendorf came in to make his second appearance of the spring and looked good, making quick work of the lineup.

Bottom 5th, Red Sox 7-1: The Red Sox had an action-packed inning. After Alex Hassan and Cody Ross got on base, Pedroia and Ortiz recorded RBI groundouts.

Then, Cody Ross unloaded a homer over the Green Monster with that Fenway Swing everyone keeps talking about.

But the real scary part of the inning was when Kelly Shoppach struck out and as he swung, he lost the grip of the bat and it flew into the stands. The person is OK and offered to give the bat back to Shoppach. Bobby Valentine told the fan to keep it and kept monitoring the fan's status over the next few minutes. But yes, the fan is OK.

Mid 5th, Red Sox 4-1: Ronny Paulino grounded out to Mike Aviles, who continues to make his mark at shortstop.

Speaking of shortstop, I talked to Jose Iglesias and he said he was feeling much better from the groin strain. He played in a minor league game and went 1-for-5.

Bottom 4th, Red Sox 4-1: The Shredder strikes, or as you all know him, Nick Punto strikes.

He doubled to drive his good buddy Cody Ross in to score. You want to know how good their relationship is? Well check the story out. 

Lars Anderson also hit a two-run single to add onto the big inning, but was tagged out as he tried to stretch it into a double.

Mid 4th, 1-1: Orioles tie it up on a full-count walk. Wilson Betemit RBI singles off Beckett and a 1-6-3 double play ends the inning. 

Bottom 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: A very funny scene to start the third. Lars Anderson uncorked a hit to centerfield that was initially a double.

As center fielder Xavier Avery tried to throw to the infield, he completely whiffed and dropped the ball. It allowed Anderson to move over to third and elicited a laugh from the crowd at JetBlue.

Alex Hassan — who's is probably broken up about his alma mater Duke falling to Lehigh — drove him in with a groundout.

Also, word from Sarasota is that Nate Spears belted a three-run homer to give Sox 3-0 lead.

Mid 3rd: Here's a bit of news I can report for you guys. The Red Sox just announced they have released right-handed pitcher Carlos Silva.

It's not surprise at all. Once his shoulder issues re-surfaced, Valentine essentially said Silva would be out of the mix to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation.

Bottom 2nd: Two innings, no hits for the Red Sox. Galarraga is inducing the ground ball at will against a pretty good chunk of the Red Sox starting lineup. Let's see how long this holds up and if maybe this season, he'll recapture his magic from 2010.

Mid 2nd: Lars Anderson fielded two grounders — unassisted — this inning. Quite a difference from the left field he played last night.

But Valentine liked what he saw from Anderson on the put out on Friday and said to expect to see him back there soon. For now, he'll only dabble in left field and not the other corner.

Bottom 1st: Orioles pitcher Armando Galarraga came in and retired Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz on ground outs to second base.

Also, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald noted through Twitter that former Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale and current Sox bench coach Tim Bogar exchanged lineup cards in the other game in Sarasota. 

Mid 1st: Bobby Valentine has praised Nick Punto for being a polished utility man. Punto just proved that he warranted the praise in the first inning. 

Although it isn't his natural position, Punto fielded Xavier Avery's grounder at third and fired a pinpoint throw to Lars Anderson at first for the out. Polished, indeed.

1:10 p.m.: By the way, if you don't know by the now, the Red Sox are sporting green uniforms in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Pretty nice look.

In the clubhouse earlier, they were all donning Dustin Pedroia's line of green shirts. Now, that was funny. Some players rocked the looked and others passed on the DP shirts.

12:41 p.m.: If the name Armando Galarraga sounds familiar, it should. He's the pitcher — then of the Detroit Tigers — who tossed a perfect game, but because Umpire Jim Joyce blew a call, he lost it.

He hasn't really been the same ever since. Now, he's battling for a roster spot with the Orioles.

12 p.m.: Here are the lineups.

Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Cody Ross, LF
Kelly Shoppach, C
Nick Punto, 3B
Mike Aviles, SS
Lars Anderson, 1B
Alex Hassan, RF

P Josh Beckett

Xavier Avery, CF
Matt Antonelli, 2B
Wilson Betemit, 3B
Chris Davis, 1B
Ronny Paulino, C
Ryan Flaherty, LF
Scott Beerer, RF
Cory Aldridge, DH
Manny Machado, SS

P Armando Galarraga

8 a.m. – The Red Sox will have a split-squad outing against the Orioles on Saturday. At 1:35 p.m., one squad will host Baltimore at JetBlue Park while at 1:05 p.m., the other squad will take on Baltimore at their home territory in Sarasota.

Aaron Cook will be starting for the Red Sox in Sarasota as he looks to improve his odds of winning the fifth spot in the starting staff. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, who will be managing in Fort Myers, said he envisions Cook as a starter if he maintains his momentum from last week's outing, which was also against Baltimore. Josh Beckett will take the mound at JetBlue Park and the Red Sox will also get another look at Ross Ohlendorf, who was solid in his debut this week.

Stay with the live blog, as we'll be checking in from JetBlue Park to keep you up to speed on everything happening.

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