The Red Sox put up five runs in the seventh inning to break a 1-1 tie and fuel a 6-1 win.
The Phillies got two quick outs in the seventh, before Michael Stutes found himself in a world of trouble. Stutes issued back-to-back walks to Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Daniel Nava, which paved the way for a rather strange play later on in the inning.
After Nava hustled to beat out a potential fielder’s choice, pinch-runner Matty Johnson came around to score to give Boston a 2-1 lead. The Red Sox would add four more runs behind a bases-clearing triple from Shane Victorino and an RBI double from Dustin Pedroia.
Pedroia reached safely in all four of his plate appearances. He went 2-for-2 with a double, single and two walks.
John Lackey got the start for Boston, and he was solid once again. Lackey pitched five innings, allowing just one run on four hits. He struck out one, didn’t walk anybody and enjoyed the benefit of 13 groundball outs.
Andrew Miller, Joel Hanrahan, Andrew Bailey, Koji Uehara and Anthony Carter combined to keep Philadelphia off the scoreboard the rest of the way.
The Red Sox (14-12-1) will take the diamond again on Friday. They’ll travel to Dunedin to face the Blue Jays. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET, and Alfredo Aceves will get the start.
End 8th, Red Sox 6-1: Jonathan Diaz ripped a one-out single into left field, but the Red Sox were held off the scoreboard in the bottom of the eighth.
Matty Johnson, whose hustle helped give the Sox the lead in the seventh, hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Anthony Carter will pitch the ninth inning for Boston.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 6-1: Koji Uehara allowed a leadoff single, but he settled down after that to keep his scoreless streak intact.
With the scoreless eighth inning, Uehara has now held opponents scoreless in all eight of his Grapefruit League appearances this spring — a span of eight innings. He’s allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out nine.
End 7th, Red Sox 6-1: Daniel Nava may end up with just one RBI, but he’s largely responsible for Boston’s five-run seventh inning.
Michael Stutes took over for Philadelphia after six solid innings from Cole Hamels. Stutes retired Will Middlebrooks and Jonny Gomes to get two quick outs, but he then lost control of the inning — in more ways than one.
Stutes issued back-to-back walks to Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Daniel Nava. Matty Johnson replaced Saltalamacchia as a pinch runner.
Jose Iglesias came up with two on and two outs, and he chopped one to Yuniesky Betancourt at short. Betancourt fielded it cleanly and flipped to Freddy Galvis at second for what would normally be an easy out. Nava was hustling all the way, though, and he beat out Betancourt’s flip.
Galvis kept jogging in, thinking the Phillies had just ended the inning. Once Galvis realized that Nava was called safe, he then noticed Johnson storming toward home. Galvis fired to the plate, but the hustling Johnson beat the throw to give Boston a 2-1 lead.
The Red Sox weren’t done there.
Jacoby Ellsbury walked to load the bases, and Shane Victorino then lined a bases-clearing triple over the head of Pete Orr in right field.
Dustin Pedroia added another insurance run by drilling a double down the right-field line. Pedey has now reached safely in all four of his plate appearances. He’s 2-for-2 with a double, single and two walks.
Mid 7th, 1-1: We enter seventh-inning stretch time at JetBlue Park on the heels of a quick, 1-2-3 inning by Andrew Bailey.
Bailey got both Darin Ruf and Carlos Ruiz to fly out to right field. The final out came on a John Mayberry popout to second base.
End 6th, 1-1: Dustin Pedroia is having a nice night. He’s reached base safely in all three of his plate appearances, although the Red Sox have been unable to do anything with his production.
Pedroia earned a walk against Cole Hamels in the sixth. It’s Pedroia’s second free pass of the game, but Hamels continues to be strong otherwise.
Hamels struck out Shane Victorino. Then, after Pedroia’s walk, the left-hander got Mike Napoli to ground into a 5-4-3, inning-ending double play.
Mid 6th, 1-1: Andrew Miller continues to look great this spring.
The lanky left-hander struck out both batters he faced, before Joel Hanrahan relieved him and recorded the final out of the inning.
Miller struck out Pete Orr and Jimmy Rollins in the sixth. Miller got ahead of Orr before giving him a nasty — unhittable, really — slider low and away. Rollins worked the count full, but Miller sat him down looking on a 3-2 pitch.
Hanrahan got Michael Young to fly out down the right-field line to end the inning.
Miller now has 12 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings this spring. He’s allowed two runs on four hits and two walks. The stuff has always been there for Miller, and it’s mostly been a matter of him improving his control. The command appears to be better this spring, though, and that’s very encouraging going into the season.
End 5th, 1-1: It was a mixed bag of results for Jose Iglesias in the fifth.
With one out, Iglesias made a very intelligent decision to drop down a bunt with Phillies third baseman Michael Young playing back. It’s something that Iglesias should try to work into his offensive game more often, as it’ll really keep the defense honest and potentially lead to an increased batting average if he’s able to score a few bunt singles every now and then.
After Jacoby Ellsbury struck out for the second out, though, Iglesias got caught slipping at first base. He was picked off to end the inning.
Andrew Miller will come on to pitch the sixth inning.
Mid 5th, 1-1: John Lackey has gotten better as this game has gone on.
Lackey’s groundball total is up to 13 after the right-hander induced three straight groundball outs in the fifth.
Lackey got Freddy Galvis, Cole Hamels and Ben Revere in order. Galvis and Hamels each grounded out to Jose Jose Iglesias at short, and Revere dropped down a bunt that Lackey fielded himself and tossed over to first to end the inning.
End 4th, 1-1: Impressive inning out of Cole Hamels.
Will Middlebrooks, who knocked one off the Green Monster in his last at-bat, started off by popping out to Freddy Galvis in short right field.
Hamels really got nasty from there. The lefty struck out Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia swinging.
Mid 4th, 1-1: John Lackey scattered a one-out double to Laynce Nix, but the fourth inning brought more positive results.
Sandwiching Nix’s groundball double down the left-field line was a pair of groundouts to Jose Iglesias at short. Iglesias once again showed off his strong arm, and the groundball outs give Lackey 10 for the game.
John Mayberry flew out to center field to end the inning. No one is currently warming up in the Boston bullpen, so we’ll likely see Lackey come out for another inning.
End 3rd, 1-1: Dustin Pedroia has now reached base safely in each of his two plate appearances. He’s been left at first base in both instances.
Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino grounded out to second base and shortstop, respectively, before Pedroia slapped a two-out single into right field.
Mike Napoli went to a full count in his at-bat against Cole Hamels, but Hamels eventually blew a fastball by him to leave Pedey standing at second base.
Mid 3rd, 1-1: The top of the third brought a combination of nice pitching and awesome defense.
John Lackey got three groundball outs, which is exactly what he needs to do in order to be successful this season. He was certainly helped by the Boston D, though.
With one out, Pete Orr tried to bunt his way on, but Will Middlebrooks made a fine, barehanded play and a strong throw to record the out.
Jimmy Rollins, who doubled back in the first inning, nearly connected on a single into right field, but Mike Napoli made a diving stop. Napoli flipped to Lackey, who was covering first, to end the inning.
End 2nd, 1-1: A very nice at-bat by Daniel Nava helped knock in Boston’s first run.
Will Middlebrooks lifted a leadoff double off the JetBlue Park Green Monster in left, and he would scamper up to third base on a base hit into left field by Jonny Gomes. Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed up with a flyball to left, but it wasn’t hit deep enough to get the run in, as Laynce Nix came up firing to the plate.
Nava then dug in for what was a lengthy at-bat. He fouled off a number of pitches and ran the count full before ripping one into left-center. It hung up long enough for Nix to drift over and make the play, but it was also plenty deep enough for Middlebrooks to come across with the Red Sox’ first run.
Jose Iglesias flew out to Ben Revere in center field to end the inning.
Mid 2nd, Phillies 1-0: Freddy Galvis took advantage of the JetBlue Park dimensions to leg out a two-out triple, but John Lackey had an otherwise solid inning.
Carlos Ruiz put up quite a fight against Lackey, fouling off a number of pitches before hitting a groundball up the middle to the right side of the second-base bag. Dustin Pedroia, who has been busy, made a sliding play, and he fired to first for the first out of the inning.
Lackey then got John Mayberry Jr. to ground out to Jose Iglesias at short. Lackey is certainly at his best when he’s keeping the ball down and recording groundball outs, so the first couple of innings have been encouraging in that regard.
Lackey left a pitch up to Galvis, though, and the Phillies second baseman ripped it into the triangle in right-center. He would easily reach third base standing up. Fortunately for Lackey, the pitcher was up next, and Hamels went down looking.
End 1st, Phillies 1-0: Cole Hamels issued a two-out walk to Dustin Pedroia, but it was the only baserunner of the inning for Boston.
Jacoby Ellsbury lined out to second baseman Freddy Galvis for the first out. Galvis wasn’t done, though, as he then proceeded to make a nice, sliding catch to rob Shane Victorino of a bloop single into right field.
Pedroia worked the two-out free pass, and Mike Napoli put on a pretty good battle against Hamels, but the left-hander eventually got Napoli to fly out to left-center.
Mid 1st, Phillies 1-0: The ball had eyes in the first inning.
After Ben Revere grounded out harmlessly to second base to lead off the ballgame, the Red Sox fell victim to a few softly hit balls that spelled trouble.
Pete Orr singled up the middle just past the outstretched Jose Iglesias. He then stole second base, which has been no easy task for opponents this spring. Entering the game, the Red Sox had thrown out 11 of 23 attempted base stealers — which had them tied for the best mark (47.8 percent) in baseball.
Jimmy Rollins hit a looping flyball into left field with one out. Iglesias, left fielder Jonny Gomes and third baseman Will Middlebrooks all converged, and the ball ricocheted off the hustling Iglesias, resulting in a double that set up runners at second and third.
After the bloop double, Michael Young grounded to second. Dustin Pedroia only had one play, and it was to first, leading to Philadelphia’s first run of the game.
7:06 p.m.: And away we go…
7:03 p.m.: There are a few other Red Sox-related notes to pass along before we get going.
First, Stephen Drew has been cleared to resume baseball activities. That’s certainly good news, as it means the shortstop probably won’t miss an extended period of time, but I’d still be shocked if he was in the Opening Day starting lineup.
General manager Ben Cherington said the Red Sox intend to take a cautious approach with Drew, so he might still miss a few games to begin the season. Drew’s health is improving, though, which is good to hear given the unpredictable nature of concussions.
Alos, the Sox continued to trim their roster at big league camp on Thursday. The Sox assigned Chris Carpenter, Terry Doyle, Oscar Villarreal and Chris Hernandez to minor league camp.
6:55 p.m.: We’re coming up on game time, and it’s worth noting that this is the first of two spring meetings between these two clubs. The Red Sox and Phillies will cap off their spring training slates with a game on Sunday.
The Sox and Phils will also hook up for four games during the regular season. They’ll have back-to-back two-game sets in Boston (May 27-May 28) and Philadelphia (May 29-May 30).
Shane Victorino, who spent parts of eight seasons with the Phillies, greeted some of his former teammates on the field before Thursday’s game.
6:17 p.m.: After catching a glimpse of Thursday’s lineup card, it appears manager John Farrell is going with his regulars against the Phillies. In fact, we could be looking at Boston’s Opening Day lineup.
Sneak a peak at the lineups below.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Mike Napoli, 1B
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Daniel Nava, DH
Jose Iglesias, SS
John Lackey, P
Ben Revere, CF
Pete Orr, RF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Michael Young, 3B
Laynce Nix, LF
Carlos Ruiz, C
John Mayberry, 1B
Freddy Galvis, 2B
Cole Hamels, P
6:10 p.m.: As mentioned, Thursday’s Red Sox-Phillies action will air live on NESNplus.
The Bruins and Senators will play live on NESN, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Pregame coverage for that game begins at 7 p.m. with WB Mason Presents Bruins Face-Off LIVE.
If you’re looking for which channel NESNplus is in order to watch some baseball, have no fear. We’ve got you covered.
Click the link below for a complete list of television providers and corresponding channels to see how you can catch the Red Sox and Phillies live from JetBlue Park in Fort Myers at 7 p.m.
8 a.m. ET: John Lackey came into spring training in great shape, and he has cleared every hurdle he’s faced since. There’s still work to be done, though, and the right-hander’s quest to turn his career around will continue on Thursday when the Red Sox welcome the Phillies to JetBlue Park.
Lackey tossed 83 pitches (48 strikes) in a minor league spring training game against the Triple-A version of the Rays on Saturday. His command wasn’t perfect, but the start represented another step forward for Lackey, who missed all of the 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
“I feel like as far as the rehab, we still got a few more times to go,” Lackey said after Saturday’s outing. “But up to this point, it’s gone about as good as I could hope for.”
Lackey is a far cry from where he was a few months ago. He’s feeling much better physically, and his focus is now on building up arm strength and working on his secondary pitches.
Lackey is scheduled to be followed by Andrew Miller, Andrew Bailey, Joel Hanrahan, Koji Uehara, Chris Hernandez and Oscar Villarreal on Thursday. Miller, Bailey and Hanrahan all pitched during a 4-0 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday, although each hurler held New York scoreless.
Thursday’s game will start up at 7:05 p.m. ET, and all of the action will air live on NESNplus. Be sure to tune in, and stick around with NESN.com if you’re up for it.
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