Felix Doubront, Jarrod Saltalamacchia lead Red Sox
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Boston starter Felix Doubront limited Minnesota to two hits in four innings and Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a two-run homer in the fourth in the second of the Red Sox’s two split-squad games Friday, a 5-0 night victory over the Minnesota Twins.
The Red Sox also played to a 3-3, 10-inning tie with Baltimore in the afternoon.
Doubront had four strikeouts and walked one.
“My arm felt pretty good,” Doubront said. “Little bit off in the first inning but I figured it out later, hitter after hitter. My control was a little bit off, but I finished strong. I worked with more tempo and finished strong.”
Doubront threw 68 pitches, 42 for strikes, and pitched more efficiently as the game went on.
“(His) stuff continues to get more sharp each time out,” said manager John Farrell. “I thought he showed the ability to make an adjustment from one pitch to the next. And as he got deeper into the number of pitches thrown, I thought there was better feel and touch to the overall mix of stuff. So another progressive step for him.”
Twins right-hander Liam Hendriks gave up three runs on five hits in four innings.
“I felt really good, fastball command was extremely good tonight,” Hendriks said. “You look at it, first hitter, (Jacoby) Ellsbury, jammed him, got the ball back and it had a little bit of pine tar on it. So I got it in there. He just turned on it a little bit. First two hits, I mean, jam shot and a rollover ground ball that just found the right spot.
“Last start, I was crossing my body and felt all out of whack. This time, in the bullpen session with (pitching coach) Rick (Anderson), I worked on really staying in line and throwing my hips toward the plate. It worked really well tonight. Fastball command was a lot better. Offspeed stuff was good. I didn’t throw all that much of it because they were late on all the fastballs. So I didn’t want to speed up their bats. Fastball command was fantastic. One bad pitch.”
But Twins manager Ron Gardenhire would like to have seen Hendriks throw a better mix of pitches.
“Hendriks threw the ball good,” Gardenhire said. “But didn’t really change his speeds much. All fastballs tonight. Really weren’t many spinners in there, changeups, nothing. I mean, it’s pretty impressive that you can throw all fastballs, but it doesn’t really work. You’ve got to mix in your other stuff. We noticed that quite a bit. His fastball, he located it and it was down, which was a good thing. Made one mistake to Salty. He killed it. But for the most part, he was efficient.”
The Red Sox opened the scoring in the first when Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a double, took third on Jonny Gomes’ infield single and scored when Dustin Pedroia grounded into a double play.
After Saltalamacchia hit his first home run of the spring to make it 3-0 in the fourth, Boston added two runs in the eighth off Brian Duensing. Shannon Wilkerson led off with a bunt single, advanced on Daniel Nava’s single to center and scored on Heiker Meneses’ double. Daniel Butler drove in Nava with a sacrifice fly.
NOTES: The Red Sox played a split-squad game against the Orioles on Friday afternoon in Sarasota. The game ended after 10 innings in a 3-3 tie. ... Left-hander Franklin Morales returned to Boston earlier this week to receive an epidural injection. He was diagnosed with a bulging disk in his lower back. There is no timetable yet for him to resume throwing. ... Shortstop Stephen Drew is still experiencing concussion symptoms after being hit by a pitch on his helmet on March 7. His availability for opening day will be determined by how much time he misses before then. ... The Red Sox made roster moves on Friday, optioning RHP Rubby De La Rosa and RHP Allen Webster to Triple-A Pawtucket and C Christian Vazquez to Double-A Portland. The roster is now at 48.Shortstop Pedro Ciriaco was scratched just before the game with back spasms. Deven Marrero, who also played in the afternoon game in Sarasota, replaced him in the starting lineup. ... Twins first baseman Chris Colabello and catcher Crew Butera returned to the team after playing Italy in the World Baseball Classic. Both were on the travel roster for Friday night’s game, but not in the starting lineup. ... The Twins optioned RHP Kyle Gibson to Triple-A Rochester. Gibson, the Twins’ first-round (22nd overall) pick in 2009, is coming off elbow surgery last season, ... Mitch Maier sprained his left wrist in the second inning of the afternoon game on a diving catch. He stayed in the game and singled in his next at-bat before coming out. Tests showed no fracture or structural damage.