OK, it isn't that big of a deal, but the series' conclusion at least signifies that spring training will soon be coming to a close.
Bobby Valentine kicked off the day by announcing that Felix Doubront and Daniel Bard have earned the fourth and fifth spots, respectively, in the Red Sox rotation. The Sox then went about their business, taking down the Twins 5-1 at JetBlue Park.
The Sox rolled out a lineup that could be what we end up seeing on Opening Day, as it was filled with regulars that should see ample playing time throughout the season.
The game started off at a brisk pace, and the Sox fell behind 1-0 in the sixth inning on a home run by Chris Parmelee. Boston bounced back in the home half of the frame, though, posting a four spot that was capped off by Jacoby Ellsbury's RBI triple.
Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez each collected two hits in the win, and Pedro Ciriaco had an RBI double and two stolen bases upon entering the game for Kevin Youkilis.
Vicente Padilla, Scott Atchison, Justin Thomas and Garrett Mock saw time on the mound, with Atchison's 2 2/3 scoreless innings the most notable.
The Sox will be back in action on Monday, when they play host to the much-improved Washington Nationals. Action kicks off at 1:30 p.m. ET.
End 8th, Red Sox 5-1: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Ryan Sweeney and Mike Aviles go down in order in the eighth, and we'll head to the ninth with the Sox looking to secure this year's Mayor's Cup.
Salty went down swinging, Sweeney grounded out to second and Aviles flew out to right.
Sean Burroughs, Luke Hughes and Trevor Plouffe are the scheduled Minnesota hitters for the ninth.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 5-1: The substitutions are aplenty as we get deeper into this game. Brock Huntzinger came on for the Sox in the top of the eighth, and he kept the Twins off the board.
Estarlin De Los Santos flew out for the inning's first out before Chris Parmelee walked. That would be the only baserunner the Twins would manage, though, as Huntzinger retired Josmil Pinto and Deibinson Romero to end the inning.
End 7th, Red Sox 5-1: Pedro Ciriaco's is really trying to stake claim to the Red Sox' 25th roster spot.
Adrian Gonzalez doubled to left after Dustin Pedroia led off the inning with a flyout, and Ciriaco went to work, driving in the first baseman with a double of his own. Ciriaco then took off for third and reached safely, although he wouldn't score, as David Ortiz struck out and Nate Spears grounded out sharply to first to end the inning.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 4-1: It's seventh-inning stretch time at JetBlue Park, and the Sox hold a 4-1 lead.
Garrett Mock kept the Twins offense at bay in the top half of the seventh, surviving a hit batsman to keep Minnesota scoreless.
End 6th, Red Sox 4-1: Kevin Youkilis was plunked to get things going, as Carl Pavano came out for a sixth inning of work. He was then lifted for Pedro Ciriaco, who immediately made his impact felt on the bases.
Ciriaco swiped both second and third base, and came in to score on a double just to the right of the third-base bag by Cody Ross.
The Sox weren't done, though.
Ryan Sweeney, who couldn't come through with the bases loaded in the fourth inning, delivered a base hit to bring in Ross, who had moved over to third on a groundout by Saltalamacchia. Sweeney then came all the way around from first base on a double by Mike Aviles that rattled around in the left-field corner.
Not to be outdone, Jacoby Ellsbury lifted a ball over the head of the right fielder Trevor Plouffe. Ellsbury slid into third base safely, but the ball kicked off him and rolled into shallow left field. Ellsbury got up and tried to score, but clearly out of gas, he was gunned down at the plate for the final out of the inning.
Nevertheless, it's a four spot for the Sox in the sixth.
Mid 6th, Twins 1-0: The Twins have struck first, with Chris Parmelee greeting the new Boston pitcher, Garrett Mock, with a deep drive to right. Parmelee absolutely crushed Mock's offering for the game's first run.
Mock went on to retire the next three hitters. Flyouts by Ryan Doumit and Sean Burroughs sandwiched a Danny Valencia groundout.
End 5th, 0-0: After two quick outs off the bats of Mike Aviles and Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia lined one back at Pavano, which resulted in an infield single for the Boston second baseman.
Bobby V then decided to push the envelope a bit, and Pedroia swiped second base to put a runner in scoring position with Gonzalez at the dish. Pedey would again be stranded, though, as A-Gon grounded out to Luke Hughes at second to end the inning.
Mid 5th, 0-0: The Twins followed up the Red Sox' bases-loaded opportunity with one of their own. Same result.
Sean Burroughs started the inning off with a base hit, and Luke Hughes then struck out, closing the book on Scott Atchison's night.
Trevor Plouffe was the first batter that new pitcher Justin Thomas faced and he flew out to Ryan Sweeney in right, making it appear that the Twins would be retired in short order again.
However, after Adrian Gonzalez couldn't come up with Ben Revere's grounder on the back hand, Denard Span worked a walk, setting up a bases-loaded situation for Jamey Carroll. The veteran infielder grounded out to Pedroia at second to end the inning, though.
A nice performance by Atchison, who pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out three in the process, lowering his spring ERA to 2.84.
End 4th, 0-0: The Red Sox had a golden opportunity to break this scoreless tie, loading the bases with one out. But Carl Pavano was able to buckle down and retire the next two hitters to get out of the jam unscathed.
Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz each singled and Cody Ross got hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases for Saltalamacchia with one out. Salty struck out looking, though, setting up a decisive showdown between Pavano and Ryan Sweeney.
Sweeney wasn't able to come through, flying out to Denard Span and ending what could have been a big inning for the Sox.
Mid 4th, 0-0: This game is cruising right along, with Atchison providing another 1-2-3 inning.
Chris Parmelee began the top of the fourth with a flyout to Ross in left, and Ryan Doumit followed up with a flyout to center. Danny Valencia then popped one up behind the plate that Salty was able to successfully battle the sun to haul in.
End 3rd, 0-0: Pavano continued to make quick work of the Sox to start off the third inning, getting Ryan Sweeney to bounce back to the mound for out No. 1.
Mike Aviles then flew out to center on the first pitch he saw, and Pavano got ahead of Ellsbury before Ryan Doumit was called for catchers' interference, meaning Ellsbury was given first base automatically.
Pedroia, who has the only Boston hit so far, grounded out to Carroll at short after a good battle to end the inning, though.
Interesting that we haven't seen Ellsbury run too much this spring despite Bobby Valentine's propensity for playing small ball. The speedy center fielder has yet to record a steal, and the Sox skipper didn't turn him loose this time around either.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: Scott Atchison follows up Pavano's quick inning with a quick frame of his own.
After striking out Ben Revere to begin things in the third, Denard Span flew out to Cody Ross in left for the second time today. Jamey Carroll then lifted a fly ball of his own, which was hauled in by Ryan Sweeney in right.
These could be important innings for Atchison as he tries to prove to Bobby Valentine that he deserves a spot in the Boston bullpen. The Sox skipper has to be pleased with what he's seen so far this afternoon.
End 2nd, 0-0: Pavano makes quick work of the Sox in the second, retiring David Ortiz, Cody Ross and Jarrod Saltalamacchia in order.
Ortiz grounded out to the first baseman, Burroughs, who took it to the bag himself for the inning's first out. Ross followed up with a groundout of his own to Valencia at third, after which Saltalamacchia struck out swinging to end the inning.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Danny Valencia led off the inning with a seeing-eye single back up the middle, but Padilla struck out the next two hitters he faced — Sean Burroughs and Luke Hughes.
That spelled the end of Padilla's afternoon, though, as the righty has given way to Scott Atchison, who makes his eighth appearance of the spring.
Padilla threw 21 pitches in the outing, and the 1 2/3-inning total is something we could eventually see more frequently next to his name in the boxscore, as it appears Bobby Valentine will use the right-hander out of the bullpen in a long relief role to begin the season.
Atchison struck out Trevor Plouffe to end the inning upon entering the game.
End 1st, 0-0: The Red Sox hit the ball hard off Pavano in the first, but they stranded Dustin Pedroia at third, and the game is scoreless after one inning at JetBlue Park.
Pedroia went the other way with one for a one-out double after Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out to Luke Hughes at second to begin the home half of the first. Pedroia would advance to third on an Adrian Gonzalez groundout to second, but he would stay there, as Ben Revere hauled in a hot shot in left off the bat of Kevin Youkilis to end the inning.
The Twins will send Danny Valencia, Sean Burroughs and Luke Hughes to the plate in the second.
Mid 1st, 0-0: It didn't take long for us to see the first eephus pitch of the afternoon from Padilla. He's used the pitch sparingly throughout the spring, and he got leadoff hitter Denard Span to fly out on the slow-moving pitch in the first.
Jamey Carroll followed the flyout with a double off JetBlue's Green Monster in left, but Padilla then settled back down to retire Chris Parmelee and Ryan Doumit on flyouts — the latter of which also came on the eephus.
For a little background on Padilla's eephus pitch, check out this story from NESN.com's Didier Morais.
1:30 p.m. ET: We're about ready for action at JetBlue Park, as Padilla and Co. take the field.
1:15 p.m. ET: We're about 15 minutes away from the decisive game in this year's Mayor's Cup series, and the lineup cards are in.
Could Bobby Valentine be tipping his hand on what the Opening Day lineup will look like? It would be appropriate considering the announcements made regarding the team's rotation this morning/afternoon, and there's certainly plenty of usual suspects penciled in. Here's a look at Sunday's complete lineups.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Cody Ross, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Ryan Sweeney, RF
Mike Aviles, SS
Vicente Padilla, P
Denard Span, CF
Jamey Carroll, SS
Chris Parmelee, DH
Ryan Doumit, C
Danny Valencia, 3B
Sean Burroughs, 1B
Luke Hughes, 2B
Trevor Plouffe, RF
Ben Revere, LF
Carl Pavano, P
8 a.m. ET: Bobby Valentine is expected to announce the Red Sox rotation on Sunday. And while Vicente Padilla won't be cracking it, he'll be toeing the rubber as the Sox try to capture this year's Mayor's Cup crown.
The Sox hold a 3-2 advantage over the Twins in the annual series that pits the two Fort Myers residents against each other. But as the defending winners of the spring training competition, the Twins can repeat by knotting up the series with a victory in Sunday's tilt.
Scott Atchison, Michael Bowden and Justin Thomas are expected to follow Padilla, who will likely be used as a long reliever by the Red Sox to start the season.
Sunday's first pitch is set to be delivered at 1:30 p.m. ET. All of the action can be seen on NESN, but be sure to stay up to date with NESN.com as well, as we'll be bringing you plenty of news and analysis throughout the day.
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