Sox Trump Twins 10-2: Monday, March 5th:
Clay Buchholz was happy to be back on the mound, and the Boston Red Sox were thrilled to have him there. He gave up two walks and struck out two, and forced a grounder by Joe Mauer that led to a double play.
Buchholz had a fractured back last season when the Red Sox’s season ended short of the playoffs. He made his first start of spring training on Monday night and pitched two scoreless innings in Boston’s 10-2 victory against the Twins.
“Everything felt good,” Buchholz said. “It was a long time coming.”
Minnesota didn’t have nearly the same success with Jason Marquis, who also made his first start following an injury. Marquis, whose time with the Arizona Diamondbacks was cut short last year because of a broken leg, signed with the Twins in the offseason. He gave up four runs and three hits in his first two innings with Minnesota on Monday.
David Ortiz had no trouble getting on base for Boston. He hit a solo homer over the right field fence in the third inning and added a double.
The Red Sox also got a three-run home run from backup catcher Daniel Butler. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks had two hits, drove in a run and scored another.
Mauer made his second appearance after being limited to 82 games last season because of a slow recovery from knee surgery. The Twins catcher went 2 for 3 with an RBI. Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s single brought Michael Hollimon home for Minnesota’s other run.
Boston now leads the Sox-Twins match-ups in the Grapefruit League 2-0. They meet again on March 16th @ 1:35 PM at JetBlue Park.
View the image gallery from the Sox-Twins Monday match up: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/photos?photoId=1899682&gameId=320305109
Sox Beat Baltimore 5-4: Tuesday, March 6th:
For Daniel Bard, it was a nice start. He made his first start since 2007, his first season in professional baseball.
Bard is being moved from a relief role to the rotation and he opened with two hitless innings Tuesday as the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-4. He struck out two and walked one. The 26-year-old righty has made 192 appearances in three seasons, all of them in relief.
“First, let’s say that wasn’t (Baltimore’s) `A’ squad out there and we all know that,” Boston manager Bobby Valentine said. “That being said, Daniel’s two-seamer was good, his four-steamer was good, he threw four sliders, they all did what he wanted them to do. He looked very comfortable on the mound, looked comfortable out of the windup, got into a stretch he was OK, and felt good afterwards.”
Alfredo Aceves, also trying to transition from the Red Sox bullpen to rotation this spring, followed Bard to the mound and pitched two perfect innings with two strikeouts.
“Aceves looked like it was just a day at the beach for him,” Valentine said. “He was throwing the ball well, and hit his spots, and used more pitches, and different type pitches than Daniel did. They all seemed to be pretty effective.”
Left-hander Dana Eveland started for the Orioles, allowing one run and two hits in two innings.
Ellsbury doubled and scored for Boston.
Wilson Betemit drove in two runs for Baltimore and Nick Johnson singled and
Clayton Mortensen got the win, striking out four in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Michael Bowden earned the save with 1 2/3 shutout innings.
View the image gappery from the Sox-Orioles match up: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/photos?gameId=320306102&photoId=1901443
The Boston Red Sox stand undefeated thus far in their play within the Grapefruit League and face the Toronto Blue Jays next on Wednesday afternoon @ 1:35 PM in Dunedin.