Final, Red Sox 4-1: Francisco Cordero took care of the Braves in the ninth inning to nail down Boston’s 4-1 win.
Felix Doubront’s strong effort highlighted the Red Sox’s victory. The left-hander gave up just two hits over four shutout innings. He struck out three and didn’t walk anyone while throwing 48 pitches (29 strikes).
Grady Sizemore led the way with two hits for Boston on what was another encouraging day for the veteran outfielder. Sizemore, who still is getting his feet under him, even took second base on a pitch in the dirt.
The Braves struck first on Jason Heyward’s solo homer in the sixth inning, but the Red Sox quickly answered on Jonny Gomes’ RBI single. Boston then posted three runs in the seventh inning behind Jonathan Herrera’s RBI double and Ryan Lavarnway’s two-run double.
The Red Sox have two games Saturday as part of a split-squad. The first game against the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota will air live on NESN.
End 8th, Red Sox 4-1: Scott Cousins and Heiker Meneses strung together back-to-back singles in the eighth inning, but a double play kept Boston’s lead at three runs.
Francisco Cordero will try to close things out in the ninth inning.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 4-1: Burke Badenhop worked a scoreless eighth inning for Boston.
Badenhop gave up a two-out single to Ramiro Pena, but otherwise showed why the Red Sox acquired him. The right-hander induced two ground balls in a solid frame.
End 7th, Red Sox 4-1: The Red Sox posted three runs in the seventh inning to grab a 4-1 lead.
Jonathan Herrera broke the 1-1 tie with an RBI double that plated Christian Vazquez, who started the rally with a two-out walk.
Ryan Lavarnway extended Boston’s lead to 4-1 with a two-run single.
3:12 p.m., Red Sox 2-1: Jonathan Herrera shot a base hit into left field to give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead.
I’m heading down to the Red Sox’s clubhouse for player reaction, but will be back very soon with more updates. In the meantime, feel free to follow along right here.
Mid 7th, 1-1: It’s seventh-inning stretch time at JetBlue Park, and the Red Sox and Braves are tied at one apiece.
Edward Mujica tossed a scoreless inning for Boston in the seventh. Ernesto Mejia flied out to the warning track in center field for the third out.
The Red Sox made some changes in the inning. Jonathan Herrera and Brandon Snyder remained in the game after pinch running in the sixth inning. Mike Carp and Scott Cousins also entered.
End 6th, 1-1: Jonny Gomes quickly evened things up.
Dustin Pedroia led off the home half of the sixth inning with a bloop single into right-center field. Pedroia was lifted for a pinch runner in Jonathan Herrera.
David Ortiz followed with a chopper to first base. Ernesto Mejia decided to step on the bag and then fire to second base rather than try to get the lead runner first. That decision allowed Herrera to safely slide into second base.
Herrera advanced to third base on a wild pitch and scored when Gomes roped a two-out RBI single into left field.
Mid 6th, Braves 1-0: Jason Heyward broke the scoreless tie in the sixth inning.
Heyward jumped all over Junichi Tazawa’s offering and sent it sailing over the right field fence for a solo homer. The blast is Heyward’s first of spring training.
Tazawa recorded three outs through the air in the sixth inning. Ramiro Pena flied out to center field to begin the inning, and B.J. Upton and Justin Upton flied out and popped out, respectively, after Heyward’s long ball.
Christian Vazquez took over behind the plate in the sixth inning. Corey Brown replaced Grady Sizemore in center field.
End 5th, 0-0: There’s still no offense to report.
Will Middlebrooks reached on an infield single in the fifth inning, but the scoreboard remains littered with zeroes.
Anthony Varvaro struck out Xander Bogaerts and David Ross in the fifth. Grady Sizemore, who singled in his previous at-bat, lined out to short to end the inning.
Junichi Tazawa will be the new Boston pitcher in the sixth inning.
Mid 5th, 0-0: (Gasp.) Koji Uehara actually walked a hitter in the fifth inning.
But as surprising as it was to see Uehara issue someone a free pass, the right-hander made sure it didn’t cost him.
Chris Johnson popped out to Dustin Pedroia in foul territory and Ernesto Mejia flied out to right field. Uehara then walked Gerald Laird before getting Tommy La Stella to ground out.
Doubront gave up two hits over four scoreless innings. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out three while throwing 48 pitches (29 strikes).
End 4th, 0-0: David Ortiz greeted David Carpenter with a double into the triangle. The Red Sox couldn’t knock him in, though.
Ortiz advanced to third base when Mike Napoli hit a slow roller to the right side, but Carpenter rebounded to take care of Jonny Gomes and Daniel Nava.
Gomes struck out swinging, and Nava lifted a routine fly ball to left field that Justin Upton corralled.
Gomes also nearly took off Ortiz’s head with a line-drive foul ball in the fourth inning.
Koji Uehara will take over for Felix Doubront in the fifth inning after four solid innings by the Boston left-hander.
Mid 4th, 0-0: Jason Heyward led off with a single, but Felix Doubront buckled down for another strong inning.
Doubront got B.J. Upton to fly out to right field before inducing two straight ground balls.
Xander Bogaerts tossed around some leather in the inning, kicking off two straight forceouts to end the frame without any damage.
It’s been a strong effort — and strong spring — all-around for Doubront.
End 3rd, 0-0: Grady Sizemore showed more encouraging signs in the third inning.
Sizemore scorched a line drive into center field for a two-out single. Sizemore hustled all the way out of the box, as he’s done frequently this spring.
Sizemore then took second base when Alex Wood fired a pitch into the dirt with Dustin Pedroia batting. Sizemore made a good read and ran well while taking the extra bag.
The Red Sox were unable to get on the scoreboard in the third, as Dustin Pedroia grounded out to end the inning.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: Felix Doubront has looked very good in his second spring training start.
Doubront spun another perfect frame in the third, retiring Gerald Laird, Tommy La Stella and Ramiro Pena in order.
Laird and La Stella flied out to center field and left field, respectively. Pena grounded out to Will Middlebrooks at third base.
Middlebrooks had a tough day at third base against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday but put in plenty of work with infield instructor Brian Butterfield on Thursday.
End 2nd, 0-0: Alex Wood made quick work of Boston in the second inning.
Jonny Gomes led off with a towering fly ball to right-center field that B.J. Upton put away for the first out.
Daniel Nava and Xander Bogaerts followed with ground outs to shortstop and third base, respectively.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Felix Doubront worked around a one-out, infield single and has been in control thus far.
Doubront began the second inning with his third strikeout of the contest. Ryan Doumit went down swinging against the lefty.
Chris Johnson then reached on a ground ball back up the middle. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts ranged out onto the outfield grass to make a play, but his throw was off the mark. Bogaerts didn’t have much of a chance to get Johnson, anyway.
Doubront exited the inning by inducing a 4-6-3 double play. Bogaerts’ throw to first base brought Mike Napoli off the bag, but Napoli slapped a tag on Ernesto Megjia to complete the twin killing.
End 1st, 0-0: Grady Sizemore got down the line pretty well in his first at-bat.
Sizemore hit a dribbler to the right side that second baseman Tommy La Stella charged. La Stella couldn’t make a barehanded play, and Sizemore reached with an infield single.
Alex Wood settled down after that to retire Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli in order. Ortiz struck out looking.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Felix Doubront was very sharp in the first inning.
Doubront retired the Braves in order, striking out two hitters in the process.
Jayson Heyward led off with a bouncer down the first base line. Mike Napoli ranged over to make the play while running into foul territory. He flipped to Doubront for the first out.
Doubront struck out the Upton brothers to cap the inning. B.J. Upton went down looking, and Justin Upton went down swinging.
1:10 p.m.: Felix Doubront delivers a first-pitch strike. Let’s rock.
12:55 p.m.: The Red Sox announced that they have agreed to terms with 19 players on one-year contracts for 2014.
Xander Bogaerts, Will Middlebrooks, Daniel Nava and Brandon Workman are among those agreeing to terms.
Everyone on the Red Sox’s major league roster now is under contract for 2014.
12:40 p.m.: Before shifting our full attention to Friday’s clash at JetBlue Park, be sure to check out some spring training notes right here.
10:38 a.m.: The Red Sox’s starting lineup includes mostly regulars — unlike Thursday’s game against the Marlins.
Check out Friday’s lineups below.
Boston Red Sox
Grady Sizemore, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Daniel Nava, RF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
David Ross, C
Felix Doubront, LHP
Jason Heyward, DH
B.J. Upton, CF
Justin Upton, LF
Ryan Doumit, RF
Chris Johnson, 3B
Ernesto Mejia, 1B
Gerald Laird, C
Tommy La Stella, 2B
Ramiro Pena, SS
10:30 ET: The Boston Red Sox will host a Grapefruit League game at JetBlue Park on Friday after back-to-back spring training contests in Jupiter, Fla.
The Red Sox, who played the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, will host the Atlanta Braves at Fenway South on Friday. Felix Doubront will toe the rubber for Boston in his second start of the spring.
Doubront, who tossed two shutout innings in his spring debut, has been a bright spot in camp thus far. The left-hander arrived in Fort Myers in great shape, and he and the Red Sox have been working hard over the last few weeks in the hopes of him taking another step forward in 2014. Doubront enjoyed some success in 2013, but the club is looking for more consistency this season.
Friday’s action is scheduled to kick off at 1:05 p.m. ET. Keep it right here for updates throughout the morning/afternoon.
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