FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Joel Hanrahan had had a rought spring before Saturday night's outing against the Baltimore Orioles. In three innings, over four Grapefruit League appearances, he had been smacked around for nine runs on nine hits.
But Hanrahan enjoyed a 1-2-3 inning against the Orioles, leaving him with a better feeling.
"I felt just as good as I did last game, but I didn't miss over the plate,'' said Hanrahan after the Sox dropped a 5-2 decision to the Orioles. "I think that was the main difference. I felt good out there; I've been feeling good. It was just better results.
"No doubt, it's always nice to have a clean inning. It's spring training and we're still working on things. But to go out there and, especially after the last two outings when I didn't finish my inning, just to finish my inning was pretty exciting.''
"Better overall location,'' said John Farrell of the inning. "Similar stuff, similar power, similar action to his slider -- just better overall location.''
Part of the problem, Hanrahan admitted, has been the lack of adrenaline he feels when coming into a game in the fourth or fifth inning.
"It's tough to emulate the season,'' he said. "I've said that before. But you just have to go out there and treat it like a game atmosphere. Today, I started my preparation a little bit earlier. We all have our routines that we go through during the season that get us right. I was trying to kind of get that routine down a little bit. Pitching the ninth inning is a little different than pitching the fourth inning in Jet Blue Park.''
Hanrahan plans to return to Boston Sunday, where his wife is due to deliver the couple's first child this week. He's expected to return to Fort Myers Wednesday night and rejoin the team Thursday morning.
"I'm real excited,'' said Hanrahan. "This is a day I've been waiting for a long time. I have a feeling the emotions will hit me tomorrow when I get on that plane.''
* Felix Doubront made his second Grapefruit League appearance, going three innings and allowing two runs on four hits with five strikeouts.
"Better arm speed, better tempo to his overall game,'' said Farrell. "A good step and certainly a progressive step. I thought today was a good day of work for him.''
Doubront, who was held back because of shoulder weakness earlier in camp, said the shoulder is coming around.
"I felt good,'' he said. "I felt better than the one before and I'm not too far from being completely 100 percent. I feel like with rest, I'm going to be throwing harder because I'm putting a lot of work into my shoulder. I don't feel fatigue when I'm pitching. Today, my focus was more on the game than (my shoulder) and the results were good. I'm happy.''