FORT MYERS, Fla. The Red Sox began their spring training game schedule Thursday afternoon, losing a B game to the Twins, 6-5, at Hammond County Stadium. While the results will not count in Grapefruit League standings or results, it gave manager Bobby Valentine a chance to get into the rhythm of game activities.
Tim Bogar was there as the bench coach doing his thing, Valentine said. Bench coaches Alex Ochoa and Jerry Royster and I need a rhythm as to what were going to be doing. Bogey needs a little rhythm with me also. This is all necessary stuff.
Alfredo Aceves and Daniel Bard, who are expected to move into the rotation this spring, pitched the first and second inning, respectively. Aceves, who threw 26 pitches, 17 for strikes, allowed one run on two hits with a strikeout. Bard allowed one run on two hits with a strikeout, throwing 25 pitches, 15 for strikes.
Aceves was ok, Valentine said. He threw a lot of pitches that he wanted to work on. He was ok with his work so I was ok with his work. Bard had good pitches, upset with his selection. He threw changeup behind the count 1-0, and then he threw the two-seamer after he hung the slider. He wasnt too happy with that. But his stuff was all right. He was working on the two-seamer. He didnt get much work on his changeup or his slider but pitched out of the windup and got that over with. Pitched out of the stretch and looked OK.
Catcher Ryan Lavarnway opened the scoring with a solo home run to left in the first inning.
Lavarnway got a little jammed and hit it 380 feet, Valentine said. I think he can improve on his catching and Im sure that he will.
But the Twins came back with a run off Aceves in the bottom of the frame, and took the lead in the second with a run off Bard.
Former Red Sox minor leaguer Aaron Bates hit a two-run home run off Jesse Carlson in the fourth to extend the Twins lead, 4-2. Brian Dinkelman added a two-run double in the fifth off Tony Pena, Jr.
Nate Spears two-run triple in the sixth cut the Sox deficit to 6-4. Daniel Butlers solo homer in the seventh completed the Sox scoring.
Shortstop Jose Iglesias, who made a nifty running basket catch on in foul territory behind third base, led off the game with a first-pitch single to center field. He also grounded into a double play in the third, and walked.
He walked once today, Valentine said. I think plate discipline is a wonderful thing and it comes from confidence in a mechanic and aggressive attitude I believe. He has an aggressive attitude and when he has a good mechanic he can have good plate discipline.
As planned, the Sox had nine pitchers throw one inning each.
I think I saw things that people are working on that they brought into the
competition, Valentine said.
Andrew Bailey, who had been slowed by a strained lat suffered during the vertical leap part of his physical, threw a bullpen session Thursday morning.
Bailey threw a bullpen, said he felt better, Valentine said. Still really didnt let go because he doesnt want to have a setback.