Final, Red Sox 6-2: Jose Mijares wrapped things up in the ninth inning despite surrendering a run.
David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Corey Brown went deep for Boston in Monday’s 6-2 win at JetBlue Park. Will Middlebrooks also had a nice day offensively, collecting two hits and driving in two runs.
Jon Lester was excellent on the hill, striking out four over three shutout innings in which he allowed just one hit.
End 8th, Red Sox 6-1: Corey Brown smoked an absolute missile over the right field wall in the eighth inning.
Brown entered the game for center fielder Grady Sizemore in the sixth inning.
Jose Mijares will look to close out Tampa Bay in the ninth inning.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 5-1: The eighth inning was much smoother for Anthony Ranaudo.
Ranaudo retired the side in order after a seventh inning in which he needed to navigate through some bases-loaded trouble.
End 7th, Red Sox 5-1: Ryan Lavarnway and Alex Hassan singled in the seventh inning, but the Red Sox could not tack on any additional runs.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 5-1: Anthony Ranaudo surrendered a double and issued two walks before escaping a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning.
Ranaudo also got struck by a line drive in the frame but was OK after being checked by John Farrell and the Red Sox’s trainer.
End 6th, Red Sox 5-1: The Red Sox opened up a four-run lead in the sixth inning.
Mike Napoli extended Boston’s lead to 3-1 with a monstrous home run to left-center field. Napoli absolutely crushed Erik Bedard’s offering, resulting in his second home run of spring training.
The Red Sox weren’t done.
Xander Bogaerts walked and came around to score when A.J. Pierzynski ripped a ball into the right-center field gap that one-hopped off the wall. Pierzynski cruised into second base with a double.
Garin Cecchini entered the game as a pinch runner for Pierzynski. Cecchini scored when Will Middlebrooks lined a single into left field. Middlebrooks, of course, kicked off Boston’s scoring back in the second inning with an RBI double.
Corey Brown, who replaced Grady Sizemore in center field before the top of the sixth inning, yanked a ground-rule double down the right field line before Bedard finally stopped the bleeding.
Anthony Ranaudo will be Boston’s new pitcher in the seventh inning.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 2-1: The sixth inning was a good defensive inning for the Red Sox, particularly Xander Bogaerts.
Evan Longoria, whose fourth-inning homer cut Boston’s lead in half, singled into left field to kick off the sixth. Chris Capuano extinguished the potential threat by getting Wil Myers to ground to short, where Bogaerts started a 6-4-3 double play.
Sean Rodriguez also sent one in Bogaerts’ direction with two outs. The 21-year-old charged in, snagged it, executed a quick transfer and fired to first base on the run to complete the out.
End 5th, Red Sox 2-1: Grady Sizemore, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz failed to generate any offense against Erik Bedard in the fifth inning.
Sizemore, who singled back in the first inning, flied out to center fielder Sean Rodriguez.
Pedroia and Ortiz grounded out to second and third base, respectively.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 2-1: The Rays put the tying run in scoring position in the fifth inning before Chris Capuano maneuvered his way out of trouble.
Ryan Hanigan led off with a single and advanced to second base when Capuano fired a wild pitch. Hanigan wouldn’t advance any further, as Capuano took care of Brandon Guyer, Logan Forsythe and Yunel Escobar.
Guyer grounded out, Forsythe struck out, and Escobar flied out.
End 4th, Red Sox 2-1: The Red Sox went down in order against Steve Geltz in the fourth inning.
Xander Bogaerts, A.J. Pierzynski and Will Middlebrooks combined to square up some balls, but nothing came of it.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 2-1: Evan Longoria welcomed Chris Capuano to the game with a moon shot over the JetBlue Monster.
Jayson Nix also doubled off Capuano in the fourth inning, and the Rays made some loud outs. But fortunately for the Red Sox, Longoria’s solo blast was the left-hander’s only blemish.
Wilson Betemit drilled a line drive right at Jonny Gomes to end the inning.
End 3rd, Red Sox 2-0: David Ortiz absolutely crushed a solo homer in the third inning.
Rays manager Joe Maddon turned to Steve Geltz after Jake Odorizzi retired Dustin Pedroia to begin the inning. Ortiz greeted Geltz with a towering bomb over the right field fence.
Shane Victorino, who batted right-handed versus righty Odorizzi in his first at-bat, also batted right-handed versus the right-handed Geltz. Victorino struck out looking against Geltz.
Victorino, playing in his first spring training game, now will exit the contest. Jonny Gomes will enter the game and play left field while Daniel Nava shifts over to Victorino’s spot in right field.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: Jon Lester picked up two more strikeouts in another scoreless inning.
Lester struck out Brandon Guyer and Logan Forsythe — both looking — before getting Yunel Escobar to fly out to right field.
It was a solid outing overall for Lester, who likely is done after three innings of work. Lester gave up just one hit, walked one and struck out four in three scoreless frames.
End 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: Shane Victorino is in midseason form.
Victorino, who led the American League with 18 hit by pitches in 2013, got plunked on the first pitch he saw in the second inning. It also happened to be Victorino’s first at-bat of spring training.
Perhaps more importantly, Victorino added more fuel to the speculation that he’s considering ditching switch-hitting. Victorino, who batted almost exclusively from the right side at the tail end of last season, batted right-handed versus right-hander Jake Odorizzi in the second inning.
Xander Bogaerts walked after Victorino reached, and Will Middlebrooks knocked in Boston’s first run with a two-out double into the left-center field gap.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Jon Lester struck out two in a clean second inning.
Lester struck out Jayson Nix and Wilson Betemit looking to begin his second inning of work.
Ryan Hanigan, acquired by Tampa Bay over the offseason, put up a lengthier bout against Lester, but the Red Sox ace eventually took care of him as well. Hanigan popped out to Dustin Pedroia behind second base to end the inning.
End 1st, 0-0: Grady Sizemore’s upward trend continued in the first inning.
Sizemore led off with a line-drive single into center. He then took off for second base on a 3-2 count with Dustin Pedroia at the plate.
Pedroia grounded to third base, but Sizemore running with the pitch erased any chance of the Rays turning a double play. It’s also encouraging to see Sizemore’s aggressiveness, as this marks the first time he has attempted a stolen base this spring.
David Ortiz struck out looking for the second out, and Mike Napoli popped out to first baseman Logan Forsythe near the Rays’ dugout railing for the third out.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Jon Lester navigated through some two-out trouble to keep the Rays scoreless in his first live inning of spring training.
Lester retired Logan Forsythe and Yunel Escobar to begin his spring debut. Forsythe drove a ball toward the warning track in center field, and Grady Sizemore sized it up. Escobar grounded to his shortstop counterpart Xander Bogaerts for the second out.
Lester then issued a free pass to Evan Longoria before Wil Myers shattered his bat on a bloop single over Dustin Pedroia’s head and into shallow right field. Longoria went from first to third on Myers’ two-out knock.
Sean Rodriguez grounded to Will Middlebrooks with runners at the corners, and the Red Sox third baseman tossed to second base to complete an inning-ending forceout.
1:06 p.m.: Jon Lester deals a first-pitch strike. We’re underway at JetBlue Park.
12:40 p.m.: Monday’s Red Sox lineup could be a regular-season preview — at least in terms of who the starting nine could be.
It’s kind of interesting to see Grady Sizemore hitting leadoff in a lineup that includes both Daniel Nava and Shane Victorino — the two leading candidates to lead off for Boston this season.
John Farrell said Monday that it’s a move designed to get Sizemore, who was a leadoff hitter in Cleveland, accustomed to a familiar role. The Red Sox skipper added that it’s possible Sizemore could bat leadoff in 2014 — enabling Victorino to remain in the No. 2 hole — but also said it’s a conversation worth having later in camp, as Sizemore still is getting his feet under him.
10:05 a.m.: Shane Victorino will bat sixth in his return to the Red Sox’s lineup.
Monday’s complete lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox
Grady Sizemore, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
Shane Victorino, RF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jon Lester, LHP
Tampa Bay Rays
Logan Forsythe, 1B
Yunel Escobar, SS
Evan Longoria, 3B
Wil Myers, RF
Sean Rodriguez, CF
Jayson Nix, 2B
Wilson Betemit, DH
Ryan Hanigan, C
Brandon Guyer, LF
Jake Odorizzi, RHP
10 a.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox are starting to take shape.
Outfielder Shane Victorino and pitcher Jon Lester both are scheduled to start in Monday’s Grapefruit League game against the Tampa Bay Rays, marking the first time this spring training that either player has suited up for live competition.
Victorino has been easing his way back into things this spring after dealing with various ailments last season. The 33-year-old had offseason thumb surgery, although manager John Farrell has indicated in camp that the outfielder is working on “core strengthening.”
Lester has been brought along slowly because of last season’s heavy workload. The Red Sox ace totaled a career-high 248 innings between the regular season and playoffs in 2013. Lester threw a simulated game at Fenway South last week, but the 30-year-old said after the session that he was eager to get into game action.
Monday’s contest is scheduled to kick off at 1:05 p.m. You can catch all of the fun on NESN, but be sure to supplement your coverage with NESN.com’s live blog. I swear, it’ll be worth your while.
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